India, March 27 -- Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a ~1.7 lakh crore relief package involving cash transfers and food security, aimed at ensuring that the most vulnerable sections of society have enough resources to survive the ongoing lockdown and the loss of livelihoods caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the next three months, the package will see a payment of around ~50,000 crore to around 315 million families (although this could involve some double-counting). It also involves some advance (not new) payments. The number will increase to around ~77,000 crore to 450 million families if the increase in wages in the job guarantee scheme is taken into account (although this would involve them finding work for 100 days).

The r...