Union Cabinet has doubled honorarium for ten lakh ASHA workers from the existing 1000 rupees to 2000 rupees per month. Briefing media persons after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government has also decided to provide other benefits to ASHA workers in addition to the hike in their monthly honorarium. Mr. Javadekar said the government will open 40,000 wellness centres across the country this year under Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
The government also announced five per cent Dearness Allowance (DA) for Central Government employees and pensioners. Mr Javadekar said, it will benefit 50 lakh Central Government employees and 65 lakh pensioners. He described it as a Diwali gift from the government, and added that this will be paid from July this year.
The Cabinet has also approved relaxation of the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar-seeded data as a pre-condition for release of funds to the beneficiaries under the PM-Kisan scheme. The relaxation will be till 30th November this year. The scheme provides income support of 6,000 rupees per year to landholding families, subject to certain exclusions.
The government has also sanctioned a relief package for displaced Kashmiri families who had come from areas of Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. An amount of 5.5 lakh rupees will be given per family. These 5,300 displaced families initially opted to move outside the State of Jammu and Kashmir but later on, returned and settled there. Mr Javadekar said, a historical wrong has been corrected by the government.
The Government also approved MoUs between India and Foreign Broadcasters in the field of Radio and Television. The MoUs will help the public broadcaster in exploring new visions and strategies to address new technological demands and stiff competition. Following the decision, broadcasting of programmes will be obtained through mutual exchange and co-production. This will lead to equity and inclusiveness among viewers and listeners of DD and AIR.