Nirmala Sitharaman relief package: Rs 2 lakh cr institutional credit to small farmers, 30,000 cr emergency fund for farmers; free food grains to migrants
Toshi Tiwari May 14, 2020
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In the second press conference of Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, she further unveiled details of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (India’s self-reliant campaign).
Finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman shared 3 measures for migrants, 1 for shishu loan within mudra, 1 for street vendors, 1 for housing, 1 for the employment for tribals and 2 measures for small farmers.
The finance minister stated, “we are conscious of the problems of the migrants, the government has been working for their benefit over the last two months.” Further in the speech, the finance minister highlighted that the nation should look at Covid-19 as an opportunity.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Finance Minister announced a slew of measures to help the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector that employs an estimated 11 crore people and is in distress.
Highlights of the second set of announcements on the 20 lakh crore relief package
Steps taken in the Covid-19 period for Agriculture
- 63 lakh loans of Rs 86,600 crore approved in agriculture between 1 March and 30 April 2020.
- Support of Rs 4,200 crore provided under rural infrastructure development fund to states during March 2020 for rural infrastructure.
- Refinancing of Rs 29,500 crore provided by NABARD to cooperative banks and regional rural banks in March 2020.
- Working capital limit of Rs 6,700 crore sanctioned for procurement of agriculture produce to state govt entities since March 2020.
- The interest subvention for existing loans extended till May 31, 2020.
- 25 lakh new Kisan credit cards sanctioned.
Steps taken in the Covid-19 period for urban poor, including migrants
- Rs 11,000 crores by the central government has been sent to states to set up shelter for migrants and provide food and water.
- 7200 new SHGs have been formed for the urban poor since March 15.
Measures in the pipeline
- Labour Codes and workers’ welfare to be realigned.
- Re-skilling of retrenched workers to be undertaken.
- Social security for un-organised sector.
- Universal right to minimum wages.
- Removing regional disparity in minimum wage, and introduction of national floor wage.
- Benefits for interstate migrant workers.
- Portability of welfare benefits for migrant workers.
- Mandatory ESIC coverage for employees of hazardous industries.
- Social security schemes for gig and platform workers.
- Opening all work for women during night hours under strict measures.
MGNREGA lifeline for returning migrants
Free food grains to be provided to migrants for next 2 months
- This measure to benefit 8 crore migrants, central govt to spend Rs 3,500 crore on this scheme.
- For non-ration card holders, free 5kgs per family of wheat or rice and 1 kg chana.
- State governments to remain in charge of this initiative.
One nation, one ration card
- Ration card-holders can be used in any ration shop in any part of the country.
- 63 crore beneficiaries in 23 states to get covered by August, 2020.
- 100 per cent coverage by March 2021.
‘On tap’ based funding
- Additional Rs 30,000 crore to be released via NABARD for Rabi-related work and preparatory work for Kharif crop.
Kisan Credit Card Scheme
- Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit to be extended to about 2.5 crore farmers who do not have the card.
- Fisherman and animal husbandry workers to also be included in this scheme.
Affordable rent for urban poor
- Under PM Awas Yojana, government to launch a rental housing scheme.
- Incentivizing manufacturing units to build on their private compounds.
- Usage of empty government lands to build more housing.
- PPP mode through concessionaire arrangement.
Shishu loan within Mudra
- Interest subvention support of 2 per cent extended to all Shishu loan holders. (loans up to Rs 50,000)
Measures for street vendors
- Special credit facility of Rs 5,000 crores for 50 lakh vendors.
- Initial working capital of up to Rs 10,000.
- Schemes to be launched within a month.
Steps for Affordable Housing
- Credit link subsidy scheme extended up to March 2021.
- Scheme for the lowest strata of middle-income groups (income of up to 6-18 lakh/annum)
- To increase the demand for construction services and building materials.
- 3.3 lakh families benefited until now.
- 2.5 lakh more can now avail the benefits of this scheme.
Employment creation under CAMPA
- Proposals worth Rs 6,000 crore received by central government.
- Focused on employment for ‘adivasis and tribals for forestry related work.