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Free Food Grains For Migrant Workers, Additional Rs. 30000 Crores for Farmers: Sitharaman

  • Team PresentMirror | Updated: May 14, 2020, 7:54 p.m.

Finance minister today announced second tranche of Rs 20 lakh cr stimulus economic package. FM announced benefits for Farmers, Migrant workers and middle class people. Moratorium on loans availed by farmers have been extended by another three months. 25 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards issued in last 2 months with allocation of Rs 25000 cr.


Farmers: Additional Rs 30000cr emergency working capital fund through NABARD along with existing 90000cr will be released immediately. This will help for post harvest work of Rabi season and for preparations of Kharif (marginal farmers). 351 district co-operative banks and 43 regional rural banks will be facilitating the fund.

FM said that about 3 cr farmers have availed loans amounting over Rs 4.22 lakh cr at concessional rates. The interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive which was till 1st,March 2020, has been extended till 31st May and Moratorium extended for another three months. She added that 25 lakh ne Kisan credit cards issued in last 2 months with sanctioned loan of Rs 25000cr.

She added that even during lockdown, 63 lakh farmers have availed loans amounting Rs. 86600cr. NABARD has refinanced Rs. 29500cr to rural banks. During March 2020, Rs 4200cr support has been provided for Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF). State governments were provided Rs 6700cr for procuring agricultural produce from framers.

Mudra Shishu loans (upto Rs 50000) - interest subvention (2% incentive) support for 12 months after moratorium period of 3 months. About 3cr farmers will be benefitted from Rs 1500cr for nearly Rs 1.62 lakh cr outstanding loans. Rs 2 lakh cr concessional credit for Kisan Credit cards for 2.5cr farmers. Fisherman and animal husbandry farmers will also be provided Kisan Credit cards.

Urban Poor: For urban poor approx Rs 11000cr were given to State disaster response fund for shelter homes, food to help migrant workers and urban poor. 12000 SHGs produced more than 3cr masks, 1.2lakhs ltrs of sanitizers. 7200 new SHGs formed (commenced from 15th march) providing employment to many. She added that government is disbursing revolving funds through PAiSA portal for SHGs.

MGNREGA: Increase in average wage rate from Rs 182 to Rs 202. The FM added that 14.62 cr man days generated till may 13. It is more than 40-50 percent than for the same period in last year. In 1.87 lakh Panchayats,, more than 2.33 crore people have been registered till may 13.  Till now 10000 cr have been spent till now. States and UTs advised to provide works to returning migrant workers in plantation, livestock, horticulture etc in the monsoon season.

The FM also mentioned some statutory provisions currently in Parliament to help workers.

         Universal minimum wages which is at 30% presently.

         National floor wage introduced to remove disparity between states regarding the wages.

         Appointment letter to formalize employments and annual health check for all workers.

         Mandatory ESI for firms with 10 or more employee, and voluntary ESI for employer with less than 10 workers. Mandatory ESI for hazardous industry even with less than 10 employees.

         Social security for Rehri and track vendors.

         All occupations shall be open for women also in night with security

         Gratuity for fixed term employees

Free Food to Migrants: Free Food grain supply to all migrants for next two months. Non PDS card holders will also get 5Kgs of wheat or rice per person, and 1kg of Chana (Gram) per family. About 8cr migrants will be benefitted with the allocated Rs 3500cr.

Technology driven system- National portability of ration cards- one nation , one ration card. By August approx 67cr (83% of PDS beneficiaries) of 23 states will be covered and full coverage will be done by March 2021.

Affordable rental accommodation: PM Awas Yojna for migrants and urban poor. A new Rental housing scheme with PPP introduced. Government funded houses (Vacant) to be converted into affordable rental housing with PPP. 

Street vendors – special credit facility scheme (5000cr rs)  for approx 50 lakh street vendors. Upto 10000 Rs will be given to each vendors.

Housing sector: Middle income group (Lowest strata) with 6-18 lakh annual income will be benefitted from the Credit link subsidy scheme (CLSS), which has been extended till 31st march 2021. The CLSS has provided affordable housing to approx 3.3 lakhs families till now and 2.5 lakh more families will be benefitted.  The scheme will spur jobs, demands for steel, transport, construction materials. 70000cr Rs have been allocated for the CLSS.

Employment creations: Campa funds amounting 6000cr Rs will be used for providing employments particularly to Tribal community in the area of Plantation, horticulture, wildlife and forestry etc.

The FM also clarified yesterday announcement that government will be giving both employee and employer contribution to the EPF for next three months.

She also answered a question from reporter regarding transportation of migrant workers and said that 806 trains have run so far carrying 10 lakh migrants. She added that, there are 1,200 Shramik Special trains available and ready to transport migrants. She added that at least 300 trains can run everyday. For this, the Centre is spending 85% and states have to cater for balance 15%. The state government has to ask for trains after which the Centre takes about 3-5 hours to arrange the same.

So far, the Railways has run 806 Shramik Special trains in which 10 lakh migrant workers have returned to their home states. Here is list of states with number of Sharmik Special trains already plied:

         UP - 386 trains

         Bihar - 204 trains

         Madhya Pradesh - 67 trains

         Jharkhand - 44

         Rajasthan - 18

         Chhattisgarh - 7

         West Bengal - 7


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