On right track

On right track

In keeping with what some state governments as well as global economies, the Jammu and Kashmir government has announced cash grant of Rs 1000 each to 3.50 lakh workers registered with Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board.

It has also decided to request Banks to allow facility of overdraft, which is granted on person’s request, to all persons with Jan-Dhan accounts. There are 22.10 lakh Jan-Dhan accounts in J&K, out of which 16.05 lakh accounts are with J&K Bank and rest of 6.05 lakh accounts with other banks.

Also, the government has requested Regional Director Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), to provide 2.26 lakh workers registered with ESIC, to ensure that all ESIC hospitals and employers extend relief, compensation including wages as envisaged in the ESIC scheme, promptly to all the insured persons as per directions of Central Government.

Besides, the government has ordered payment of two instalments of pension relating to old age, disability and women in distress for nearly 7.7 lakh persons including 1.7 lakh pending cases.

Rs.45 crore have been also released for the purpose of covering cost of quarantine, cluster containment operation, food, lodging etc. for management of COVID-19 under Disaster Response Fund. Apart from it, under Disaster Response Fund, government has ordered free ration to destitute, daily wage earners under distress, slum dwellers etc.

The administration has also decided that the process of providing two months ration to all persons covered under PDS and children covered under Mid-Day Meal scheme shall be completed immediately.

In a relief regarding entertainment of bills which could not be presented in Treasuries during 2019-20, the government has said that there are nearly 6500 DDOs attached with 121 Treasuries. In view of lock down, many bills will not get presented as DDOs may not be able to function fully. Therefore, it has been decided that all bills pertaining to authorized works or procurement of goods and services as per rules that could not be presented due to lock down, shall be entertained during 2020-21.

These measures are beyond doubt important and in right earnest. The government would do well to use the crisis as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address public’s well-being.