Finance Minister announces free food grain supply for 8 crore migrants for two months

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This is the second tranche of the Rs.20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 12. It focuses on small farmers, street vendors and migrant workers.

The second tranche of economic package unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday (May 14) focused on small farmers, street vendors and migrant workers.

Credit worth Rs.2 lakh crore through Kisan credit cards is the key measure announced by the minister to help strengthen India’s farm sector. Apart from this, 2.5 crore farmers, including fishermen and animal husbandry farmers will be given institutional credit at a concessional rate.

A Rs.30, 000 crore additional refinance support by NABARD for crop loan requirements is another measure announced for the farmers. This is over and above Rs 90,000 crore to be approved by NABARD through normal finance methods.

Finance Minister announced free food grain supply for migrant labourers on the move. She said that even those workers who do not have ration cards or are not registered under the public distribution network can also avail 5 kilos of wheat or rice, and one kilos of gram free of cost.

The minister also announced introduction of one nation one ration card in order to benefit migrant workers. By this, people can buy ration across any ration depot in the country. More work will be generated under the MNREGA to help migrant workers get work in their own states.

Sitharaman said that government will convert government housing complexes lying vacant to be rented out to migrants on concessional rates. PPP model will also be used to achieve this under the PM Awas Yojna, she added.

The wage rate under the employment guarantee scheme has also been increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202. The minister has announced a special credit facility of Rs 5,000 crores for 50 lakh vendors. She said that the scheme will be launched within a month. An initial working capital of up to Rs 10,000 will also be provided to the street vendors.

The finance minister has given Rs 6,000 crore push to CAMPA funds, which aims to employ Adivasi and tribal people for afforestation work, forest protection, wildlife protection, etc. The minister said that the government was also planning to make minimum wages applicable to all workers, which is now applicable only to 30% to workers.

While today’s announcements are focused on migrant workers and small farmers, among others, the government will announce other measures in the upcoming press conferences. Earlier on Wednesday, Sitharaman had announced measures to boost liquidity for MSMEs via easier loans, credit guarantees and capital infusion for stressed small businesses.

The Finance Minister’s announcements followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in which he said that the government is rolling out a Rs 20 lakh crore economic package to help thwart the fallout of coronavirus and lockdown, and also to help make India a self-reliant economy (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: Goodreturns 

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