Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the launch of 'one nation one ration card' as part of the second tranche of her economic package to benefit migrant labourers who are currently either stranded outside their states due to the lockdown or have no access to fair price shops where they are registered.
Migrants who are neither NFSA or state card beneficiaries in the states they are stationed in will be provided 5 kg of grains per person and 1 kg chana per family per months for two months, and the move will benefit eight crore workers, she says.
The government has been facing criticism for its handling of the migrant crisis as lakhs still continue to walk back hundreds of kilometers to their home states as their income dried up because of the lockdown. "There is a legitimate concern about migrants returning to their home states. We are attending to migrants, we are not boasting," the finance minister said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said Rs 10,000 crore has been spent in the last two months on creating 14.62 crore man-days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) to help migrant workers.
OPINION: Modi Govt is Being Cautious With Its Relief Package | The Indian economy is in crisis, but not of a kind it has faced before. Unlike the 1991 balance of payments crisis, this is not because we are running short of foreign exchange. Unlike the 2008-09 crisis, this is not because of the possibility of a sudden stop to the financial system draining liquidity out of the economy. Read More
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is addressing her second press conference in two days to share details of the second tranche of the economic package announced by PM Modi to help revive the economy that has been devastated by coronavirus.
"The special drive will be undertaken to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan credit cards. Fishermen and animal husbandary farmers will be included in this drive. 2.5 crore farmers will be covered and will benefit from credit flow of Rs 2 lakh crore," says Sitharaman.
"NABARD will extend additional refinance support of Rs 30,000 crore for crop loan requirements. This is over and above Rs 90,000 crore to be approved by NABARD through normal finance methods to benefit 3 crore farmers, mostly small and marginal farmers, to meet post harvest Rabi and current Kharif requirement in May/June."
"Rs 70,000 crore boost to housing sector and middle income group through extension of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS). The government will extend the CLSS scheme up to March 2021. At least 2.5 lakh middle income families will benefit during 2020-21. It will lead to investment of over Rs 70,000 crore in housing sector and also create jobs. It will stimulate demand for steel, cement, transport and other construction materials," says FM.
Rs 5,000 Crore Special Credit Facility for Street Vendors
- Government of India will launch a special credit facility within a month
- Initial working capital of Rs 10,000
- Will support nearly 50 lakh street vendors
- Will provide liquidity of Rs 5,000 crore
- Digital payments will be incentivised through monetary rewards
Rs 1,500 Crore Interest Subvention for MUDRA Shishu Loans
- The current portfolio of MUDRA Shishu loans is Rs 1.62 lakh crore of Rs 50,000.
- Govt will provide interest subvention of 2 per cent for prompt payees for a period of 12 months.
- Relief of Rs 1,500 crore to MUDRA Shishu loanees.
- Supposed to benefit about 3 crore beneficiaries
Affordable Rental Accommodation for Urban Poor: FM | "The government will ensure affordable rental accommodation for migrant workers or urban poor. The government will launch a scheme under PMAY for urban poor to provide ease of living at affordable rent by converting govt funded housing in the cities into affordable housing complexes under PPP mode. The government is incentivising manufacturing units, industries, institutions to develop such complexes on private land. Also, incentivising state governments to develop such complexes and operate," says Sitharaman.
'One Nation One Ration Card' | "A technology driven system will enable migrants to access public distribution system from any fair price shop in India by March 2021. Migrant families are not able to access food in other states. This scheme will be enable migrant beneficiary to access PDS from any fair price shop in the country. 67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states states covering 83 per cent of PDS population. All states will complete full fair price shop automation by March 2021," says FM.
Free Food Grain Supply to Migrants for Next 2 Months | "Free food grain supply for migrants for the next two months. For non-card holders (national food security act or state-level cards) will receive 5 kg of wheat or rice and 1 kg chana per family. We are engaging with state governments to approach and identify the migrants. Close to 8 crore migrants will benefit from this and Centre will bear the cost. Rs 3,500 crore will be spent on this intervention," says Sitharaman.
Taking about yesterday's announcements, Sitharaman says, "Want to clarify that EPF support of 24% (12% each of employees and employers share) being borne by the GoI for past three months is being extended for more three months till August 2020. Has been reduced to 10% for private sector employers and employees, and public sector employees; public sector employers continue to pay 12%."
At least 14.62 crore MNREGA person days of work generated up to May 1, says FM.
More than 14.6 crore MNREGA person days have been generated till yesterday, 40%-50% higher compared to last May— PIB in Maharashtra 🇮🇳 #MaskYourself 😷 (@PIBMumbai) May 14, 2020
Work has been offered to 2.33 crore wage seekers in 1.87 lakh gram panchayats
Returning Migrant workers will be gainfully engaged
- FM #AatmaNirbharBharatPackage pic.twitter.com/ccSgpHS3BQ
Sitharaman enumerates the measures taken by the government so far:
- 63 lakh loans of Rs 86,600 crore approved in agriculture between March 1 and April 30, 2020.
- Refinancing of Rs 29,500 crore provided by NABARD to coeperative banks and regional rural banks in March 2020.
- Support of Rs 4,200 crore provided under rural infrastructure development fund to states during March 2020 for ruralinfra.
- Working capital limit of Rs 6,700 crore sanctioned for procurement of agriculture produce to state govt entities since March, 2020
The finance minister will address her second press conference shortly. Follow this space for LIVE Updates.
Catch the Finance Minister announcing the second tranche of economic package shortly with live updates, views, insta explainers and in-depth analysis in our special reforms special homepage https://t.co/hnn1OtoGi0. pic.twitter.com/yW7WAPYolL— CNNNews18 (@CNNnews18) May 14, 2020
FM Nirmala Sitharaman addresses a press conference on the economic package on Thursday.
Sitharaman is addressing her second press conference in two days to share details of the second tranche of the economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help revive the economy that has been devastated by coronavirus.
Nirmala Sitharaman says part two of the package will have nine measures related to migrant workers, street vendors, small traders and farmers. Enumerating what Centre has done for migrant labourers so far, Sitharaman says it permitted states to utilise State Disaster Response Funds for setting up shelter for migrants and providing them food and water. The government released its share of Rs 11002 crore funds for SDRF in advance on April 3, she says.
Sources had told News18 that the package Sitharaman announces today may include loan guarantees of Rs 2 lakh crore to farmers, direct bank transfers for street vendors, and is also likely to offer relief to labourers and workers in the unorganised sector.
The package may also include relief for the lakhs of migrant workers affected by the lockdown and declaration of special concession is possible for workers and labourers of unorganised sector.
Although the Prime Minister had pegged the overall package at Rs 20 lakh crore, or 10 per cent of India’s GDP, the finance minister had on Wednesday avoided giving any details as to how the stimulus would be paid for, or even how much actual money would be spent.
Sitharaman had on Wednesday announced the first instalment of the relief package aimed at reviving the economy with 15 measures and extended guaranteed credit for small and medium businesses, non-financial banking companies and power distribution companies (discoms).
Some economists said that although the measures outlined amounted to policy support of Rs 5.9 lakh crore, the fiscal impact on the government's budget would only be less than Rs 25,000 crore.
The finance minister said the government will provide Rs 3 lakh crore worth of collateral free- automatic loans for businesses, including SMEs, a move that will help 45 lakh businesses. She also said the government will provide Rs 90,000 crore for power distribution companies via state-run power finance companies.
Rs 30,000 crore special liquidity scheme has also been introduced for NBFCs under which investments will be made in both primary and secondary market transactions in investment-grade debt papers of these institutions. These securities will be fully guaranteed by the government.
Industry leaders were broadly supportive of the first trance. "The measures announced by the finance minister are very well-targeted and meet the immediate as well as longer-term requirements," top industry body the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) said in a statement.
Sitharaman said the next wave of reforms with self-reliance as the guiding principle will focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws. “Essentially, this is to spur growth and to build a self-reliant India. That is why this initiative is called ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’,” she said.
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