Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed the second tranche of India’s Rs 20-lakh-crore Covid-19 relief package, with a focus on migrant workers, street vendors, small traders, self-employed people, and small farmers. The first tranche focused on small businesses, non-bank lenders, the power sector, and some relief to the common man for tax filings.
Out of the Rs 20 lakh crore, total measures worth Rs 19.00 lakh crore have now been announced.
Following measures have been taken to support the poor, including migrants, farmers, small businesses, and street vendors:
The FM spared Rs 11,000 crore to provide 3 meals per day to urban homeless. The government will be supplying free food grains like 5 kg of wheat or rice and 1kg chana per migrant family for the next 2 months under the budget of Rs 3,500 crore.
The government has also planned one nation-one ration card under the public distribution system (PDS). It will allow them to use their cards across the country to avail of the ration at cheaper rates.
The government also introduced a rental housing scheme for urban poor. Under this scheme, the government-funded housing in the cities will be converted into the affordable rental housing complexes. While more working hours have been generated under MGNREGA to support the reverse migration.
"We have already generated 14.62 crore person-days of work till 13th May, which is 40-50% more persons enrolled as compared to last May. Migrant workers going back to their states being actively enrolled," The FM said.
The FM has also announced a Rs 70,000 crore boost to the housing sector by extending the subsidy scheme for affordable housing for the middle-income group having an annual income of Rs 6 lakh to Rs 18 lakh by March 2021 which was earlier March 2020 which will benefit 2.5 lakh middle class families. The extension of the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for one more year will help demand for the affordable housing sector as and when the economy starts to revive. This will indeed help to increase demand for steel, cement, transportation, and other construction materials.
For street vendors, a liquidity provision of Rs 5,000 crore is created to provide credit facility to 50 lakh street vendors within a month. For this, the initial working capital will be of up to Rs 10,000 per person and the person paying digitally will be rewarded by further liquidity.
A separate set of relief has been announced for farmers as well, where Rs 30,000 crore will be available to small farmers via National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), through rural cooperative banks and regional rural banks as an emergency working capital fund that will support post-harvest Rabi produce and to start work for Kharif crops. Separately Rs 2 lakh crore will be made available as concessional credit under the Kisan credit card. The government has also extended the interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive on crop loans due from March 1 to May 31.
The government announced Rs 6,000 crore Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds to be given to the state governments for job creation among tribals. The state government can use this money to start afforestation and plantation works, forest conservation, or related works. The government says that this fund will create jobs for tribals and Adivasis.
It has been announced that small traders who have borrowed money under the Mudra-Shishu plan, which entails a loan amount of up to Rs 50,000, can avail a 2% interest subvention on prompt payment of EMIs for 12 months. It means that Mudra-Shishu loan payees can get an interest relief of 2% if they pay their EMIs on time for 12 months.
With this, we have come to an end of Fiscal Stimulus - Atmanirbhar Bharat Part II.
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