On May 14, 2020, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced the second tranche of the Rs 20,000 lakh crore economic package announced under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
The second tranche of the economic package focuses on migrant workers, small traders, street vendors, self-employed. The second part of the scheme is to be implemented in nine steps.
Out of the 9 measures, three are to focus on migrant workers, one related to SISHU loan within MUDRA scheme, one related to street vendors, one related to housing, one related to employment generation especially focusing tribal and two related to farmers.
Through public distribution system, free food grains are to be supplied to be supplied to migrant workers. The non-card holders will receive 5 kg of wheat or rice per month and 1 kg of pulses per month. This will benefit around 8 crore migrants. The total cost of Rs 3.500 crores to implement the scheme is to be born by the central government. Also, One Nation One Ration Card is to begin from March 2021. The scheme will benefit migrants largely.
The Government will is to launch a scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for urban poor. The scheme will aim at providing ease of living at affordable rent. It will aim at converting GoI funded housings to affordable housing complexes. Also, the Government of India will incentivize industries, manufacturing units and institutions that come forward to establish such complexes in private land.
The GoI is to provide interest subvention of 2% for MUDRA Shishu loans for a period of 12 months.
The GoI will launch a special credit facility to the street vendors within a month. The initial working capital for the street vendors has been fixed as Rs 10,000. The support is to be provided to more than 50 lakh street vendors. Under this a liquidity of Rs 5,000 crores is to be infused in the country.
Under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS), Rs 70,000 crore is to be infused into the housing sector. Around 2.5 lakh middle income families are to be benefitted. It will also help in increasing employment generation and stimulate the demand of cement, steel and other construction materials.
The GoI will shortly provide a plan to infuse Rs 6,000 crores of CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority) funds in to the economy. This will help in creating job opportunities in rural and semi-urban areas.
Additional emergency funds of Rs 30,000 crores has been allocated to the NABARD. This will help the organization in funding cooperative and regional rural banks.
KISAN Credit Cards
Through KISAN Credit Cards around Rs 2 lakh crores are being allocated as concessional credit to farmers. A special drive is to be conducted to provide new concessional KISAN credit cards. The fishermen and animal husbandry farmers will be included in the drive.
The above were the new measures that were announced. Apart from these, the GoI has introduced several measures in the months of March and April, 2020 alone. These measures are as follows:
Direct Support to Farmers
Around 3 crore farmers have availed loans provided at concessional rates. The loans sanctioned amounted to Rs 4.22 lakh crores. Along with this and the PM-KISAN scheme, the GoI has so far allocated Rs 25,000 crores to the farmers.
The liquidity support during the lock down in terms of loans amounted to Rs 86,600 crores. This was given through 63 lakh loans. The GoI stresses the fact that the loans were provided even during lock down.
Also, NABARD has provided Rs 29,500 crores and helped in refinancing cooperative banks and the regional rural banks.
Through the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund, operating under NABARD Rs 4,200 crores has been provided. This is to be exclusively used for rural infrastructure. This data pertains to the month of March 2020 alone.
Around Rs 6,700 crores has been sanctioned for the state governments to procure agricultural produce.
The GOI permitted state governments to utilize State Disaster Response funds. These funds were to be utilized for providing shelter for migrants and food and water.
Role of Self Help Groups
The SHGs have played crucial role during COVID-19 crisis. Around 12,000 SHGs have produced 3 crore masks and 1.02 lakh litres of sanitizers. Around 7,200 new SHG groups were formed among urban poor during the lock down.
GoI has been helping the migrant workers through MNREGA scheme as well. The number of workers enrolled in May 2020 under the scheme is 40% to 50% more than that joined in May 2019.
The Labour Code amendment is under consideration in the Parliament. The amendments include
- Currently the minimum wages are being given to 30% to 40% of the workers in the country. The Government of India intends to provide universally to all the workers in the country.
- The GoI is trying to cut down the regional disparities that is existing in some of the states. This is to be achieved through “National Floor Wage Concept”.
- Appointment letters of the labourers made compulsory.
- Annual Health Check up is to be made mandatory.
- Make sure EISC coverage is provided to all workers working in firms that employ minimum of 10 persons.
- Res-killing exercises to be provided to help workers returning to work after lock down.
- All jobs shall be opened to women workers including night shift.