The government introduced a slew of measures to help migrant workers, small farmers, street vendors, and affordable housing. The details of the second tranche of 20 lakh crore package announced by FM Nirmala Sitharaman:
Second Tranche- Measures for Migrant Workers
The government will provide 5 kg of rice or wheat and 1kg ‘chana’ (chickpea) to 80 million migrant families for two months without ration cards. Also, the previous food grain distribution announced earlier will remain intact as this package remains in addition to PDS quota. The government plans to fully operationalise ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ by March 2021. Under the scheme, migrants can obtain rations under the Public Distribution System (PDS) from any fair price shop in the country.
Also, the government will provide a 2% interest subvention on the smallest category of loans given under the MUDRA scheme. Under this, the government will give around Rs 1,500 crore interest subvention for MUDRA-Shishu loans of up to ₹50,000 for small businesses.
Street Vendors and Affordable Housing
Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 5,000-crore special credit facility for five million street vendors so that they can quickly get back into the business once the lockdown lifts. The scheme would provide working capital loans of up to Rs 10,000.
Further, she announced extending of a credit-linked subsidy scheme for affordable housing by one year to March 2021. Besides, the government has given a push of Rs 6,000-crore to Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA) to provide employment opportunities to tribals’.
Approval of USD 1 Billion Package by World Bank
Citing the crisis in India, the World Bank has approved a package worth USD 1 billion for India. World Bank’s Country Director for India stated that the fund would leverage the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Further, the fund would provide a safety net to workers, 90% of who are engaged in the unorganized sector. Besides, it would foster the working of self-help groups, ASHA workers, and other 460 existing schemes like MGNREGA and PDS.
In all, the measures announced in second tranche will help the vulnerable to tide over the pandemic.