Coronavirus impact: Free food grain to be made available for migrant workers
The government unveiled the second tranche of its Rs 20 lakh crore economic package with focus on migrant workers, street vendors, small traders, and marginal farmers.
Given the plight of the migrant workers across the country, many of whom were literally walking back to their homes hundreds of kilometres away, the government has decided that it will provide free food grains for the next two months.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Providing the details on the second tranche, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said this is expected to benefit around 8 crore migrants.
Though, at the same time, the Finance Minister reiterated that ever since the outbreak of coronavirus in March and the declaration of a national lockdown, the government has been providing food and shelter to these migrant workers.
Similarly, to enable the continuation of the availability of food grains, the government plans to allow for national portability of ration cards where one can procure food grain from any part of the country regardless of the individual’s domicile.
According to the Finance Minister, the government expects to cover 67 crore beneficiaries across 23 states by the end of the August this year, and the entire country by March next year.
To enable affordable rental accommodation, the government plans to launch various initiatives which will incentivise the creation of such units and will be done through a public-private partnership model,
The government will also provide easier credit facility to the street vendors amounting to an outlay of Rs 5,000 crore.
To give a spur for the real estate industry, the Finance Minister will extend the affordable housing scheme till March 2021 which will provide credit linked subsidy.
For those engaged with agricultural and allied activity, the Finance Minister said it will provide an additional Rs 30,000 crore working capital fund to NABARD and it will be disbursed through various financial institutions. Also the kisan credit card will now be extended to those engaged in fishing and animal husbandry.
The Finance Minister remarked that this would not be the end of government’s initiatives in reviving the economy as it plans to unveil some more measures in the days to come.