The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today declared the second tranche of the special COVID package worth Rs 20 lakh crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 May. The whole nation especially the underprivileged part of the society had several huge expectations from her but let’s just say, as always we expected more. Let’s see what she said in her address of One hour and two minutes. She presented the announcement in nine steps.
That included three announcements for Migrant workers, one for Shishu loan within mudra, street vendor, one for housing, employment generations largely for tribals, and two for small farmers.
For some time now, the government has faced a lot of criticism for the condition of migrant labourers who are walking hundreds of kilometres to reach back to their homes in different states; due to the nationwide lockdown, their income has dried up.
The finance minister said, “There is a legitimate concern about migrants returning to their home States. We are attending to migrants, we are not boosting.”
The first announcement consisted of rupees 10,000 crores that offered jobs to migrant workers under MGNREGA:
The FM said that Rupees 10,000 crore has been spent in creating 14.6 crores MNREGA person-days of work in the last two months for Migrant workers under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
The concessional credit of Rs 2 L Cr to Farmers:
The Finance minister said the concessional credit on Kisan credit cards will be extended to boost 2.5 Crore farmers.
FM announced Rs 30,000 cr additional emergency funds for farmers through NABARD.
NABARD will extend additional refinance support of rupees 30000 crores for crop loan requirements. This is over and above Rupees 90,000 crore to be approved by NABARD to normal finance methods to benefit 3 crore farmers mostly small and marginal farmers, to meet post-harvest Ravi and current Kharif requirement in May/June.
By utilising CAMPA Funds, there will be an employment push of Rs. 6,000 crore:
The plans worth Rs 6,000 crore will be approved shortly which will help to create job opportunities in rural, semi-urban, and tribal areas. And will also include jobs like afforestation.
The minister of finance said “Rs 70,000 crore boost to the housing sector and middle-income group through the extension of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS). the govt will extend the CLSS scheme up to March 2021. At least 2.5 lakh middle income families will benefit from 2020-21. It’ll result in the investment of over Rs 70,000 crore within the housing sector and also create jobs. It’ll stimulate demand for steel, cement, transport, and other construction materials.”
The FM said that there will be Free food grains to Migrants returning home for the next two months:
For the non-card holders (national food security act or state-level cards) 5 kg of wheat or rice and 1 kg chana per family will be given. FM said that the central govt is engaging with state governments to approach and identify the migrants. nearly 8 crore migrants will have the benefit of this and also the Centre will bear the value. Rs 3,500 crore are going to be spent on this intervention.
The FM mentioned the govt. has generated 14.62 crore person-days of labour till May 13 to assist migrants to find jobs who have returned to their home states.
Work has been offered now to 2.33 crore wage seekers in 1.87 lakh gram panchayat, Sitharaman said, adding that Rs. 10,000 crore under MNREGA has been spent in a mere 43 days. For migrants and also the urban poor, the FM also announced affordable rental accommodation under PM Awas Yojana (PMAY).
The special credit facility of Rs 5,000 crore for street vendors:
The government of India within a month will launch a special credit facility with the initial working capital of Rupees 10,000 that will support almost 50 lakh Street vendors.
The government will also supply liquidity of Rs. 5,000 crore. Besides that, digital payments will be incentivised through monetary rewards.
Rupees 1,500 crore interest indemnity for Mudra Shishu loan:
At present, the portfolio of Mudra Shishu loans is Rupees 1.62 lakh crore of Rupees 50,000.
The government will provide a subsidised interest of 2% for a period of 12 months to prompt payees.
As well as relief of Rupees 1500 crore to Mudra Shishu loanees. It is expected that it will benefit nearly 3 crore beneficiaries.
The finance minister said there will be affordable rental accommodation for the urban poor:
The finance Minister Nirmala sitharaman said that the government will make sure that there will be affordable rental accommodation for migrant workers or urban poor. The government provides Living at affordable rent by converting government-funded housing in the cities to affordable houses complexes under PPP mode under a scheme PMAY for urban poor that will be soon launched.
‘One Nation One Ration Card’
The FM said, “An innovation-driven framework will empower vagrants to get to the open circulation framework from any reasonable value shop in India by March 2021. Transient families can’t get to food in different states. This plan will empower vagrant recipients to get to PDS from any reasonable value shop in the nation. 67 crore recipients in 23 states covering 83 per cent of the PDS populace. All states will finish full reasonable value shop mechanization by March 2021.
The finance minister has also mentioned that during the period of starting March 15 there have been 7,200 new self-help groups (SHGs) of urban poor discovered.
The FM said, the interest subvention for loans to farmers has been extended to May 31, 2020. that will close to 3 crore marginal farmers had received loans worth rupees 4 lakh crore at low rates and was also given a moratorium by the RBI as well as the 63 lakh loan of Rs 86,600 crore approved in agriculture between March 1 and April 30, 2020.
The working capital limit of rupees 6,700 crores sanctioned for procurement of agricultural produce to state government entities since March 2020
Likewise, on Wednesday, the Finance Minister Sitharaman disclosed the measures to reduce the distress in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector that employs an estimated 11 crore people. On the same day, she has made 16 specific announcements that covered MSME and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to real estate and power distribution and the salaried.