Emphasis on migrants, free food grain for 2 months: Highlights of FM’s speech

FM Nirmala Sitharaman

In the second day of the Finance Ministry briefing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman concentrated on migrant workers, street vendors, self-employed and small farmers.

A total of 9 steps were spoken about:

3 for migrant workers.
1 Shishu loan
1 street vendors
1 housing
1 employment generation for tribals
2 farmers specific

She also spoke about some schemes that were already initiated in March April. For e.g. – 3 crores farmers had already availed loans at concessional rates. The extension for repayment has now been extended up to May 31, 2020.

The new schemes are as under:

– 25 lakh new Kisan credit cards will be sanctioned.

– 63 lakh loans of 86,600 crores approved in the agriculture sector between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020.

– Shelters set up for migrants by state governments from the SDRF funds provided by the centre in the last 2 months.

There were, however, Legitimate concerns for migrants going back to villages during this time. Hence for them, the following schemes have been initiated –

– Generated 14.62 crore person-days of work generated till 13 May 2020.
– Drive being undertaken to enrol returning migrants.
– Average daily wage date rises to Rs. 202/-

– Labour codes: benefits for workers to be set up. Universalisation of rights of minimum wages and timely payment to all workers to happen.
Appointment letter to be given to all workers and compulsory health checkup’s to be conducted for them.

– Definition of inter-state migrant workers to be revisited.

– Extension of ESIC coverage to employees working in establishments with less than 10 employees on a voluntary basis to be made.

– Reskilling of retrenched workers – a fund to be introduced to ensure this can happen successfully.

– Free food grain supply to migrants for the next 2 months.

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– People who are non-card holders (state-level cards or NFSA holders) – will be given 5 kgs grains per person and 1 kg chana per family per month for two months.

– 8 crore migrants ( as per state data) will benefit from this.

– 3500 crore will be spent on this intervention for 2 months. Will reach the migrants through state governments – they will identify, provide grains and ensure the procedure is followed.

– One nation one ration card – technology systems to be used to enable migrants to access the public distribution system (ration) from any fair price shop in India by March 2021. Migrant workers can access food in other states also.

– 100% national portability to be achieved by March 2021.

– Affordable rental housing complexes for migrant workers/urban poor to be set up.

– Govt to launch under PMAY for migrant labour/ urban poor to provide ease of living at an affordable rent.

– Rs 1500 crore interest subvention for MUDRA Shishu loan.

– For Street vendors – Rs 5000 crore special credit facility to be given. Initial working capital up to Rs 10,000 to be given.

– Rs 70,000 crore boost to the housing sector for the middle-income group (annual income Rs 6-18 lakh), through the extension of CLSS. The scheme extends till March 2021.

– 2.5 lakhs middle income families will benefit from this. It will also create jobs for them.

– Rs 30,000 crore additional emergency working capital funding for farmers through NABARD. Will benefit around 3 crore farmers. To meet post-Rabi and current Kharif requirement in May/June.

– Kisan credit card – nearly 2 lakh crore credit flow to cover to 2.5 crore farmers in the form of credit cards. Fishermen and animal husbandry will also be covered.

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