Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Second Set Of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” Measures: Highlights

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Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Second Set Of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” Measures: Highlights

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday the government will spend Rs 3,500 crore on food for nearly 8 crore migrant workers over the next two months, to support help them against the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the weeks-long nationwide lockdown. The announcements , came as part of the second set of measures under the government’s “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” economic package to battle the damage caused to the economy due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Thursday’s announcements – focused on migrant workers, street vendors, self-employed individuals, farmers and small traders – were part of the fiscal and monetary package worth Rs 20 lakh crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to prop up the ailing economy.

The government plans to extend a bank loan interest subsidy programme for affordable housing to rented housing for migrant workers, the Finance Minister said.

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Here are highlights of the Finance Minister’s second set of “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” announcements:

  • Today announcing more steps under PM Garib Kalyan scheme
  • Today’s initiatives – as part of second tranche of measures under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package – focuse on migrant workers, street vendors, small traders, self-employed individuals, small farmers
  • Will be announcing 9 steps today
    • 3 related to migrant workers
    • 1 Shishu loan scheme within MUDRA
    • 1 street vendors
    • 1 housing
    • 1 employment generation largely for tribals and those in tribal pockets
    • 2 farmers, small farmers in particular
  • Many of steps announced today may overlap with next set of measures; there will be more
  • We will keep in mind and prioritise concerns related to migrant workers, poor, those in need
  • About 3 crore farmers, who received agricultural loans worth over Rs 4 lakh crore at concessional rates earlier, availed benefit of loan moratorium
  • Interest subvention scheme – which is normally given for prompt repayment – on farmer loans, which was already extended till March, now extended till May 31
  • 25 lakh new Kisan credit cards given, worth of Rs 25,000 crore of total loan limit
  • Liquidity support for farmers and rural economy has been happening for past two months
  • Activities through banks have been happening; 63 lakh agricultural loans worth Rs 86,600 crore approved between March 1 and April 30
  • In March alone
    • NABARD provided Rs 29,500 crore to cooperative banks, regional rural banks to enable them to lend
    • NABARD extended support of Rs 4,200 crore for rural infrastructure through RIDF (Rural Infrastructure Development Fund)
    • Rs 6,700 crore working capital assistance provided to state agencies to procure agriculture produce
  • FOR URBAN POOR: In past two months, states permitted to utiise SDRF (State Disaster Response Fund) for setting up shelters for migrants and providing them food
  • Government transferred Rs 11,000 crore via SDRF to states
  • Central government sponsoring three meals every day to people living in Shelters for Urban Homeless (SUH) from March 28
  • 12,000 self help groups produced more than three crore masks, 1.20 lakh litres of sanitizers; 7,200 new self help groups newly formed for urban poor starting March 15
  • FOR MIGRANT WORKERS: Already generated 14.62 crore man days of work so far this month (till May 13), up 40-50% compared to May 2019 (year-on-year)
  • 2.33 crore wage seekers finding work in 1.87 lakh gram panchayats under employment guarantee scheme MGNREGS
  • Annual Actual Expenditure (Budget) around Rs 10,000 crore for MNREGS till date, government to increase fund allocation if required
  • LABOUR REFORMS IN PIPELINE: Currently, minimum wages cover 30% of workers; government working towards extending this to all workers; government working towards removal of regional disparity in wages
  • Working with states on establishing a national floor wage
  • Government working to extend benefit of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) coverage:
    • to all districts, all establishments employing 10 or more people, as against to those in notified districts
    • to employees working in establishments of less than 10 people on voluntary basis
    • to employees working in hazardous industries
  • All occupations should be open for women with night working rights, making sure safeguards provided
  • FOR MIGRANT WORKERS: Free food grain supply to all migrants for next two months
    • provision of 5KG wheat or rice per person and 1KG chana per family every month extended to non-card holders
    • About 8 crore migrants to benefit
    • Rs 3,500 crore to be spent
  • PM spoke about five pillars, one being technology-driven systems
  • Government to implement national portability card scheme “one nation one ration”, 67 crore people in 23 states to benefit; migrant families will be able to access food in other states through this programme
  • 100% national portability of to be achieved by March 2021
  • Government to launch affordable rental housing scheme for urban poor; currently migrant workers face difficulty in getting accommodation at affordable rent
  • Rs 30,000 crore additional liquidity for farmers through NABARD
  • 2% interest subvention for MUDRA Shishu loan borrowers making prompt payments for 12 months
  • Rs 1,500 crore relief for MUDRA Shishu loan borrowers
  • FOR STREET VENDORS: Government to launch special credit facility worth Rs 5,000 crore in a month, to provide easy credit access to street vendors
  • Government giving initial working capital of Rs 10,000 crore
  • HOUSING: Government to give middle-income group (those with annual income of Rs 6 lakh-18 lakh) credit-linked subsidy scheme extended to March 2021, from March 31, 2020; 2.5 lakh middle income families to benefit this financial year
  • FARMERS: Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit (farmers to gain access to institutional credit at concessional rate) to be extended to farmers through Kisan credit cards, 2.5 crore farmers to benefit
  • Fishermen, animal husbandry farmers to be included in Kisan credit card scheme
Source:- ndtv
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