Poor to get free grains for two months under One Nation One Ration Card scheme | Key highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement

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Announcing the second tranche of measures to reduce the hardship faced specifically by migrant labours, street vendors, migrant urban poor, small traders self-employed people, small farmers and housing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that poor families will now be provided free food grains for two months. Under One Nation One Ration Card scheme, Sitharaman said that a special technology system will be used to enable migrants to access ration from any Fair Price Shops in India by March 2021.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

This comes a day after Sitharaman announced a slew of measures as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic package to revive the economy amidst global coronavirus pandemic.

Sitharaman said that her government was attentive to the needs of all the segments of economy and society.

Here are key highlights of her announcements made on Thursday:

Free food grains supply to migrants for 2 months

For migrant workers, additional food grain to all the States/UTs at the rate of 5 kg per migrant labourer and 1 kg Chana per family per month for two months i.e. May and June, 2020 free of cost will be allocated. Migrant labourers not covered under National Food Security Act or without a ration card in the State/UT in which they are stranded at present will be eligible. States/UTs shall be advised to put a mechanism for targeted distribution as envisaged in the scheme. 8 Lakh MT of food-grain and 50,000 MT of Chana will be allocated. The entire outlay of Rs 3,500 crore will be borne by the government of India.

The pilot scheme for the portability of ration cards will be extended to 23 states. By that, 67 crore beneficiaries covering 83% of PDS population will be covered by the national portability of ration cards by August 2020. 100% national portability will be achieved by March 2021. This is part of PM’s Technology-Driven System Reforms. This scheme will enable migrant workers and their family members to access PDS benefits from any Fair Price Shop in the country. This will also ensure that the people in transit, especially migrant workers can also get the benefit of PDS benefit across the country.

Scheme for Affordable Rental Housing Complexes for Migrant Workers and Urban Poor to be launched

The central government will launch a scheme for migrant workers and urban poor to provide ease of living at an affordable rent. Affordable Rental Housing Complexes will provide social security and quality life to migrant workers, urban poor, and students etc. This will be done through converting government-funded houses in the cities into Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) under PPP mode through concessionaire; manufacturing units, industries, institutions, associations to develop Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) on their private land and operate; and Incentivizing State Govt agencies/Central Government Organizations on similar lines to develop Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) and operate. The exact details of the scheme will be released by the Ministry/Department.

2% Interest Subvention for 12 months for Shishu MUDRA loanees- Relief of Rs. 1,500 crore

The government of India will provide interest subvention of 2% for prompt payees for a period of 12 months to MUDRA Shishu loanees, who have loans below Rs 50,000. The current portfolio of MUDRA Shishu loans is around Rs 1.62 Lakh crore. This will provide relief of about Rs 1,500 crore to Shishu MUDRA loanee.

Rs 5,000 crore credit facility for Street Vendors

A special scheme will be launched within a month to facilitate easy access to credit to Street vendors, who are amongst the most adversely impacted by the present situation for enabling them to restart their businesses. Under this scheme, the bank credit facility for initial working capital up to Rs. 10,000 for each enterprise will be extended. This scheme will cover urban as well as rural vendors doing business in the adjoining urban areas. The use of digital payments and timely repayments will be incentivized through monetary rewards. It is expected that 50 lakh street vendors will be benefitted from this scheme and credit of Rs. 5,000 crore would flow to them.

Rs 70,000 crore boost to housing sector and middle-income group through extension of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for MIG under PMAY(Urban)

The credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for Middle Income Group (annual Income between Rs 6 and 18 lakhs) will be extended up to March 2021. This will benefit 2.5 lakhs middle income families during 2020-21 and will lead to an investment of over Rs 70,000 crore in housing sector. This will create a significant number of jobs by giving a boost to the housing sector and will stimulate demand for steel, cement, transport and other construction materials.

Rs 6,000 crore for Creating employment using CAMPA funds

Approximately Rs 6,000 crore of funds under Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA) will be used for Afforestation and Plantation works, including in urban areas, Artificial regeneration, assisted natural regeneration, forest management, soil & moisture conservation works, Forest protection, forest and wildlife-related infrastructure development, wildlife protection and management etc. The government of India will grant immediate approval to these plans amounting to Rs 6000 crore. This will create job opportunities in urban, semi-urban and rural areas and also for Tribals (Adivasis).

Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital for farmers through NABARD

NABARD will extend additional re-finance support of Rs 30,000 crore for meeting crop loan requirements of Rural Cooperative Banks and RRBs. This refinance will be front-loaded and available on tap. This is over and above Rs 90,000 crore that will be provided by NABARD to this sector in the normal course. This will benefit around 3 crore farmers, mostly small and marginal and it will meet their post-harvest Rabi and current Kharif requirements.

Rs 2 lakh crore credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers under Kisan Credit Card Scheme

A special drive to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards. Fisherman and Animal Husbandy Farmers will also be included in this drive. This will inject additional liquidity of Rs 2 lakh crore in the farm sector. 2.5 crore farmers will be covered.

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