New Delhi, March 26 -- : Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a wage increase under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) amid the lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis in the country.

"Wage increase from Rs 182 to Rs 202 under MGNREGA will result in an additional income of Rs 2000 and benefit 5 crore families," Sitharaman said at a press conference here.

The Union Minister announced that self-help groups (7 crore housesholds covered) will get collateral-free loans doubled to 20 lakh, to increase money in hand.

She further added that for establishments which have upto 100 employees and 90 per cent of them earn less than Rs 15,000, "the government of India will pay the Employees' ...