ECONOMIC Package to benefit migrant workers, street vendors, small farmers: 1 nation 1 ration card expected in March 2021, says FM Sitharaman

PM’s massive economic stimulus package will be for the benefit of migrant workers, street vendors and small farmers. Three  crore marginal farmers have already availed Rs 4 lakh crore of loans at concessional rates. Detailing the second trench of the package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a news conference at Delhi on May 14 the cumulative package of Rs 20 lakh crore equivalent to about  10 percent of  India’s GDP will provide relief to various segments of the economy. These include Rs 1.7 lakh crore package comprising of free food grains and cash to poor for three months announced in March, and Rs 5.6 lakh crore stimulus provided through various monetary policy measures by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The remaining of the Rs 20 lakh crore package is being announced in tranches. In the first tranche made public on May 13 unveiled a Rs 5.94 lakh crore plan that mostly comprises off-budget items such as Rs 3 lakh crore of credit line to small businesses as support to shadow banks and electricity distributors. Other announcements made by the FM include  25 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards issued with a loan limit of Rs 25,000 crore. Rs 4200 crore allocated for rural infrastructure.7,200 new SHG groups formed for urban poor in the last two months. Rs 11,000 crore given for migrants, urban poor. The legitimate concern about migrants going back to their states. Increase in average wage rate from Rs 182 to Rs 202, was announced earlier.14.62 person-days of work generated till May 13. Migrant workers are being actively enrolled under MGNREGA in their home states, says Sitharaman. Plan to continue MGNREGA projects in monsoon season. Planning to introduce a national floor wage concept, to remove the wage disparity between states: Social security schemes for works in the unorganised sector: Other ideas in the pipeline include: A definition of inter-state migrant workers, safeguards for night duty for women workers: Free foodgrain supply to all migrants for next two months: Rs 3,500 crore will be spent by the Centre for this, the state government will implement the scheme. ‘One nation, one ration’ card to be introduced. This would enable national portability of ration. Ration cards can be used at any ration shop in any part of India through this. Affordable rental housing accommodation and complexes to be constructed through PPP mode: Urban poor and migrants will be able to afford to house.FM announces Rs 1,500 crore interest subvention for MUDRA-Shishu loans of up to Rs 50,000,50 lakh street vendors to be given Rs 5,000 crore, says FM announcing relief to vendors hit by the lockdown. Affordable housing scheme for middle-income families with Rs 6 lakh to Rs 18 lakh annual income to be extended till March 2021, she said. (edited by PK Chakravarty)

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