On Tuesday, Prime Minister NarendraModi said the country should view the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to achieve economic self-reliance. In his address to the nation, he stressed on the importance of promoting “local” products. He called it “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” (or Self-reliant India Mission) and said that in the days to come, his government will be unveiling the details of an economic package towards this aim, which, after including the earlier reliefs announced by Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman and the RBI, would be worth Rs 20 lakh crore — or 10 per cent of GDP in FY20.
FM NirmalaSitharaman Announcements on COVID-19 Economic Relief Package The government has announced steps to aid businesses, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic economic effects.
Union Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman Wednesday announced a slew of measures to help businesses, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This was a part of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced by Prime Minister NarendraModi a day before to spur growth and help build a self-reliant India.
The second conference meet was on related to focusing on the relief measures for migrant workers, street vendors, small farmers – measures for make in India, relief for migrant likely. The second press conference was held on 14th may to meeting needs and relief which could relive the distress of these migrant workers across the country, during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Announcing the second tranche of the Atmanirbar Bharat Abhiyan special COVID relief package (India’s self-reliant campaign) , finance Minister NimralaSitharaman said Thursday that relief and assistance package will concentrate and focus solely on migrant workers, street vendors, small traders , self-employed and small farmers.
The key highlights of second press conference in regards to the Package are as follow:
Union Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman tells the media that about three crore marginal farmers have taken advantage of agricultural loans worth more than Rs 4 lakh crore. Such farmers, who availed of the loans via the RBI, were initially granted a three-month interest moratorium, which has now been extended until 31 May 2020.
In addition, migrant workers who do not have central or states PDS card would be granted free supply of food grain for the next two months at a cost of Rs 3,500 crore, Sitharaman said. Besides a Rs. 5000 crore special credit facility for nearly 50 lakh street vendors, Sitharaman also announced and proclaimed rental housing scheme for migrant workers.
- Maintaining that the governmentwas conscious of the plight of migrant workers, Sitharaman said the centre would spend Rs 3,500 crore on giving food gain to eight crore migrant workers who do not have either central or state PDS cards.
- In a relief to the migrant workers, our finance minister the launch and implementation of the National Portability Cards ( one nation one ration card) and can be used at any ration shop in any part of the country as migrants move from one state to another .They will be covered by national portability by august 2020. It will be benefiting 67 crore people in 23 states covering 83 per cent of PDS population.
- Further, the FM said the government would give for two months 5 kg person of wheat or rice and 1 kg / family of channa to non-PDS card holders , which will cost the national exchequer Rs 3,500 crore.
- To employ the returning migrant workforce , FM Sitharaman said the government had generated and developed 14.62 croreperson –days of work until May 13 to help migrants to find jobs and employment that have moved back or returned to their home states.
- Work offers are now 2.33 crore wage seekers in 1, 87 lakh gram panchayats ,Sitharaman said, adding that Rs 10,000 crore was spent in just 43 days under MNREGA . Also the FM declared and proclaimed affordable rental housing or accommodation for migrants and urban poor Under PM AwasYojana (PMAY).
- The Minister of Finance also unveiled the contours of an affordable rental housing scheme for migrant workers to ensure ease of living by transforming government – funded housing in cities into affordable rental housing complexes ( ARHC ) through a concessionaire under PPP mode.
- · Retaining the government’s understanding of the plight of migrant workers, Sitharaman said that states were permitted to use SDRF to provide accommodation and food and water for migrants.
- “We are aware, conscious with the challenges faced by the migrant workers and we are attending to the migrants and giving them in various different ways, NirmalaSitharaman said. The finance minister also said 7,200 new self-help groups (SHG’s) for urban poor had been formed for urban poor.”
FOR FARMERS AND TRIBALS
- That’s highlighting and underlining focus has been on rural economy and farmers in providing liquidity since March –April , Sitharaman said interest subvention and subsidy and prompt repayment incentive on crop loans pending or due from March 1 had been prolonged and extended to May 31.
- “The current contemporary initiatives for today will focus and emphasis on migrant workers, street vendors, small traders, the self –employed and small farmers. Three crore marginal farmers have already availed Rs. 4 lakh crore of loans on concessional rates,”Sitharaman said.
- Moreover, Sitharaman said NABARD would extend additional re-finance support of Rs 30,000 crore for crop loan requirement of rural Co-operative banks and regional rural banks. “This will help in post-harvest Rabi work and benefit 3 crore farmers,” she said.
- “ For farmers not possessing a Kisan credit card, the finance minister said Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit for 2.5 crore farmers ( fishermen, animal husbandry farmers included ) would be extended”.
- Sitharaman said plans worth Rs 6,000 crore to be approved shortly under the compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning authority (CAMPA) funds to build and create employment and job opportunities and prospects for tribals / adivasis.
For farmers, govt announces Rs 30,000 crore additional emergency working capital fund through NABARD
- The Government has announced farmers’ initiatives, including:
- 1. Rs 30,000 are generating additional emergency working capital funds through NABARD
- Inadequate financial resources with small and marginal farmers
- 3. RRBs and Rural Cooperative banks are main source for credit
- NABARD will provide additional Rs 30 000 seed repayment assistance to rural coop banks and RRBs for farm lending requirements
- This is beyond Rs 90,000 to be supplied by NABARD throughout this year by normal refinancing route.
- Front-loaded on-tap service accessible on tap to 33 state coop banks, 351 district coop banks and 43 RRBs based on their landing2.
- To benefit more small and marginal farmers about 3 crore farmers.
- In May / June, to fulfil post-harvest (rabi) and existing kharif requirement
RS 70,000 CRORE BOOST TO HOUSING SECTOR FOR MIDDLE INCOME GROUP
- The government would give aRs 70,000 crore boost to the housing sector for the middle income group (annual income: Rs 6-18 lakh), by expanding the CLSS Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for the Middle Income Class, which was operationalized from May 2017. CLSS has been extended to 31 March 2020.
- “Thus far 3.3 lakh middle class families have benefited from the scheme, says FM Sitharaman. The government must continue the CLSS scheme until March 2021. Throughout 2020-21 at least 2.5 lakh middle received families would profit. It will help in an increase in the housing sector of over 70,000 croreRs. This would also build jobs, boost demand for steel, cement, transportation and other construction materials, FM says.”
- We want to have a better definition for inter-state migrant workers, to better reach benefits to them. Portability of welfare benefits for migrant workers and making ESIC coverage pan India are other aspects we are working on.
- An Rs 5,000 crore special credit facility will be provided to street vendors. The scheme will be launched within a month. The scheme will support nearly 50 lakh street vendors.
- In what signals the huge pent up demand and stress rural India, Sithraman stated that 2.33 crore wage workers or seekers in 1, 87 lakh Gram Panchayats had been recruited and enrolled under MGNREGA.
- “Rs 10,000 crore expended and spent in just 43 days under MNRERGA. We have already generated and developed 14.62 crore person –days of work until May 13, which is 40-50 % more persons enlisted and enrolled and then last May. Migrant workers are actively and voluntarily enrolled back into their states, she said”.
- The finance minister has also announced and proclaimed a 2 per cent interest subvention on the smallest category of loans given under the MUDRA scheme. “As much as Rs 1,500 crore interest subventions would be given for MUDRA- Shishu Loans of up to Rs 50, 000,” she said.
These are the further unveiled details of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic packages to help the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (India’s self-reliant campaign). She said the new initiatives focus on migrant workers, street vendors, and small traders, the self-employed and small farmers.
IN MY OPINION
The government has finally taken up steps to resolve the pain of migrant workers, small farmers, and street vendors with the second round of measures largely focusing on providing work and benefits for the poor. The government introduced one nation one ration card, through which people can buy ration at any ration depot in the country, to help the poor.
Article Written By-Sakshi Mehta