Government announces incentives for migrant workers in second tranche of stimulus package; Read further to know highlights of the press conference

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses another press conference to announce the second proportion of Rs. 20 lakh crore economic package

Story Highlights
  • 30,000 crores additional emergency working capital funding through NABARD; 3 crore farmers to benefit: FM
  • Government to support nearly 50 lakh street vendors with Rs 5000 crore Special Credit Facility
  • One Nation One Ration Card will be implemented- 67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states

DELHI: On Thursday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made major announcements for migrant labourers, street vendors, self-employed people, small farmers and the poor. She listed nine measures to be announced – three for migrants, one for street vendors, one on housing, one on employment generation for tribals, two for farmers etc.

Earlier, On Wednesday, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled the details of the massive economic package of Rs 20 lakh crores announced by the PM. The measures to alleviate the distress in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector along with salaried employees were announced by the minister a day before.

The finance minister said that the Centre has approved 63 lakh loans of Rs 86,600 crore in agriculture between March 1 and April 2020 and has provided support of Rs 4,200 crore under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to states during March 2020 for rural infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the interest payment of loans for 3 crore farmers who have availed agricultural loans worth Rs 4 lakh crore has been extended till 31 May. Further, 25 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards have been sanctioned with a loan limit of Rs 25,000 crore.

Focussing on the migrants returning home, the Finance Minister said that the government has generated 14.62 crore person-days of work till May 13 to help migrants find work who have returned to their home states. Work will be offered to 2.33 crore wage seekers in 1.87 lakh gram panchayats.

She also added that Rs 10,000 crore had already been spent under MNREGA in just 43 days. 

The minister further stated that the Centre has supported self-help groups, which have produced 3 crore masks, 1.20 lakh litres for sanitizers. This provides employment opportunities to the urban poor, says Sitharaman. Further, 7,200 new SHG have been formed since March 15, 2020 to generate employment. 

To reach out to the urban poor, the government has permitted states to utilise the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to set up shelters for migrant labourers and provide them food and water. At least Rs 11,000 crore was sent for this purpose, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman.

In order to benefit migrants, the government has come up with National Portability Cards which can be used in any ration shop in any part of the country as workers move from state to state. This will be implemented by August for 67 crore beneficiaries (83% of the entire PDS population) in 23 states. The entire PDS population (100%) will be on the system by March 2021.

Besides, the government will give 5 kg/person of wheat or rice and 1 kg/family of channa for non-PDS card holders for two months which is going to cost the national exchequer Rs 3,500 crore.

The government has announced an affordable Rental Housing Scheme for migrants and the urban poor under PMAY. For the middle income group (Rs 6-18 lakh), the government will give a Rs 70,000 crore boost to the housing sector through extension of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme.

Centre has also announced Rs 30,000 crore additional emergency working capital fund through NABARD for the farmers. Meanwhile, the government will also provide Rs 6,000 crore using 

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds to help generate employment for tribals and adivasis for afforestation and plantation works, artificial regeneration etc.

A concessional credit boost of Rs 2 lakh crore to 2.5 crore farmers through the Kisan Credit Card Special drive (including fishermen and animal husbandry farmers). This will enable 2.5 crore farmers gain access to institutional credit at concessional interest rates. 

The Centre will support nearly 50 lakh street vendors by providing liquidity of Rs 5000 crore. It will launch a special scheme within a month to facilitate easy access to credit to street vendors.

In a relief to small businesses, the MUDRA-Shishu loanees will get Rs 1500 crore interest subvention from the Govt. It will provide interest subvention of 2% for prompt payees for 12 months. Loan moratorium has already been granted by RBI.

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