Transferring money to Jan Dhan accounts and freezing the payment of credit by individuals and smaller businesses are some of the measures that are discussed and could later be implemented to help people cope with the situation created by the coronavirus .
“Thousands of poor people living on their daily income could have enormous cash needs. We’ll be taking steps to address this soon, ”an official told DH about the measures the government is expected to take for those at risk.
Whether there could be a direct transfer of cash to Jan Dhan accounts cannot be ruled out.
Payment of EMIs by individuals for their home, auto and other personal loans could result in a temporary suspension until the situation normalizes, sources said, adding that this and the other measures taken by Treasury officials, the Prime Minister, Ministerial Office and the Reserve Bank of India are discussed.
The EMI freeze could initially be announced until June 30th and extended further. Discussions are ongoing, another source said on condition of anonymity.
Similarly, the government could also take the burden off people from paying electricity bills. Any delay in paying bills will not be penalized by the authorities. There are efforts to further reduce the prices of cooking gas for poor people. This could be done by increasing the grant.
“Measures are announced in installments. Firstly, for the poor,” said the official. He said the ministries’ meetings were held continuously just to put the relief efforts together.
When asked about the cost of the treasury, he said the government is not currently concerned about inflation issues or the burden on the treasury. “At the moment, the main thing is to help everyone in need,” he said.
Initially, steps are also being discussed to provide food grains as an alternative to cash.
The government has already announced a number of legal and regulatory compliance measures.
The new package of measures is expected this week. Thereafter, the RBI will announce its monetary policy on April 3rd. Then the second set of measures to improve corporate creditworthiness and liquidity will be announced, sources said.