Covid-19 fund: Economic package to make migrant laborers, marginal farmers and street vendors self- reliant, says Finance Minister

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New Delhi, May 14: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made 9 big announcements for the poor, migrant labourers, street vendors and small and marginal farmers in the second phase of the economic package under the Self-Reliant India Campaign.

Sitharaman while addressing the press conference on Thursday said that migrant labourers, street vendors and small farmers are the first priority of the government.

The Finance Minister announced a loan of Rs 10,000 for the street vendors, which will be implemented soon.

She told that it will benefit 50 lakh people, for this, a provision of Rs 5000 crore has been made.

The Finance Minister said that at the time of the announcement of the countrywide lockdown, on the instructions of Prime Minister Modi, the decision to provide five kg of food grains and one kg of gram for free to poor families for 3 months has been extended till July. Along with this, 5 kg food grains will be given free of cost to the poor without ration card till July.

Sitharaman while briefing told that the scheme of One Nation-One Ration Card will be applicable in every state. Along with this, those who take a loan of 50 thousand rupees under Shishu Mudra Loan will get a rebate of 2 percent in interest.

The Finance Minister apprised that the migrant labourers who returned to their villages would get work under MGNREGA. Along with this, changes are being made in the employee law. Now it will be mandatory for the employer to issue the letter of appointment of the employee. The government will also remove the minimum wage anomalies. The health of migrant labourers will be examined once a year.

She said that under the MGNREGA the wages of the workers have already been increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202.

Sitharaman said that work is also on to improve the labour law.

Highlights of the second phase of the Finance Minister’s Economic Package: –

– 2 lakh crore rupees will be provided to the farmers. Under this, 2.5 million farmers will be provided loans at concessional rates.

– 6000 crore fund will be alotted to create jobs for the people of tribal areas.

– An additional emergency working capital of Rs.30 thousand crore will be funded for farmers through NABARD. This amount will be released immediately. This is expected to benefit about 3 crore farmers. This scheme is directly for the benefit of rural India and farmers.

– Will bring a scheme to promote 70 thousand crore rupees for housing sector. Those with income from 6 lakh to 18 lakh will get the benefit. 2.5 lakh middle class people will benefit. Workers will also get the benefit. The Housing Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme has been extended till March 31 2021.

– The government has made provision of special loan    facility of Rs 5,000 crore for street vendors. The government will bring a special scheme within a month to give loans of 10 thousand rupees to street vendors. 50 lakh street vendors will benefit from this scheme. Digital payments will be encouraged. At the same time, those using digital payments will also get additional benefits.

– A scheme for providing affordable rental housing complex for migrant labourers, urban poor, and providing houses on low rent to migrant labourers and urban poor will be implemented under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY). It will be implemented through PPP mode.

– One nation-one ration card scheme is expected to benefit 67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states by August 2020.

– This will be possible through the use of technology. Under this scheme, migrant labourers will be able to go to any corner of the country and buy their ration from any ration shop at an affordable price.

– A provision of Rs 3500 crore has been made for the need of food grains of 8 crore migrant labourers. They will be provided 5 kg of wheat or rice and one kg of pulses for the next two months.

– Those who do not have food security card will also be provided rice or wheat and one kilo of pulses for the next two months.

– In many states, migrant workers need food grains. Non-card migrant labourers will be given five kilograms of free grain per person and one kilogram of gram per family per month for the next two months. This is expected to benefit eight crore migrant workers.

– Rs 3,500 crore will be spent on this item. It will be the responsibility of the state governments to implement it.

Finance Minister said that at least one minimum wage should be given to the poorest of poor labourers therefore steps will be taken for this. All labourers will get appointment letters.

There will be a health check up once in the year. There will be a plan for labourers working at risky places. Social security scheme will be brought for the workers. Security arrangements will be brought for women working at night.

Finance Minister said that 14 crore 62 lakh works were generated to help migrant labourers. So far, 10,000 crore rupees were spent in it.