Coronavirus cases in India: Uttar Pradesh plans cash handouts to soften coronavirus blow

By Vrishti Beniwal

Uttar Pradesh, with a population about the size of Brazil, is planning to provide cash transfers to labourers earning wages daily to shield workers without formal jobs as the coronavirus outbreak slows economic activity.

The state, home to more than 200 million of the nation’s 1.3 billion people, has formed a panel to study the proposal for transferring cash directly to bank accounts of labourers. A report will be submitted within three days.

“The state government has decided to provide a set amount in bank accounts of laborers so that their families don’t suffer from the side effects of coronavirus,” Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said via a Twitter message on Tuesday, without giving details of how much is being planned as payouts.

The proposal from the most populous Indian state is the latest in a string of cash handouts planned by countries ranging from the US to Japan as part of a stimulus package to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic. The central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to announce any fiscal measures, although authorities have said they are ready to act.

India has reported 147 infections, while cases hit 191,521 worldwide and deaths exceed 7,800.

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