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Additional 40,000 Cr. to be allocated under MGNREGS to boost employment.

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Announcing fifth and final tranche of the economic stimulus package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the allocation for MGNREGS is being increased by Rs 40,000 crore over and above the Rs 61,000 cr budgeted earlier. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said around 12 lakh members of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) withdrew Rs 3,360 crore retirement savings during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Sitharaman had on Saturday said that the Central government will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation in the coal sector and will do infrastructure development of Rs 50,000 crore. Earlier on Friday, Sitharaman announced Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund for farm gate infrastructure for farmers and Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFEs) under the stimulus package.

She said that the fifth and the final tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package will focus on seven main points. “Today, I have seven such steps to tell you and the order in which they will be, are the MGNREGA, Health (rural and urban) and education-related steps, businesses and COVID, decriminalisation of the Companies Act, Ease of Doing Business and related matters, Public Sector Enterprises policies and matters, state government and related resources,” the Minister said.

On Saturday, the Finance Minister had unveiled the fourth set of the economic package for eight sectors – coal, minerals, defence production, civil aviation, power distribution, social infrastructure, space and atomic energy. Earlier on Friday, Sitharaman had announced relief measures for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), migrant labourers, farmers and street vendors, and the agriculture sector and allied activities.

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