CENTRAL PACKAGE PART II: Massive help to migrant labour, farmers, unorganised sector; stress on housing for migrants

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday unveiled a fresh set of stimulus as part of the PM’s 20 lakh crore package, the first part having been announced by the minister a day ago. The plans unveiled on Thursday will principally help small farmers, migrant workers and those engaged in the unorganized sector like street vendors. A major thrust has also been given to housing sector for the middle and lower income groups.

Agricultural loans taken by three crore marginal farmers will have time until May 30 to pay the interests due in March this year. An additional amount of Rs 25,000crore has been set apart for a release of 25 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards.
For migrant workers, an amount of Rs 11,002crore will be released to state for setting up shelters for migrant workers and giving them rations. For migrant workers who have returned to their homes, work will be arranged in the interim under the MGNREGS.

The government offer on Thursday also included a provision of Rs 3,500crore for providing free ration to migrant workers and the distribution has to be undertaken by the state governments. By year 2021, the entire nation will have the system of ration cards that can be used anywhere in the country and availed benefits from PDS.

For street vendors, a Rs 5,000crore loan facility has been advanced. A vendor can avail upto Rs 10,000 as working capital. The government also offers a Rs 30,000crore post harvest benefit to small and medium farmers.

Tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Today’s announcements by FM Nirmala Sitharaman will especially benefit our farmers and migrant workers.”
Commented Union surface transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari: “I am confident that the relief announced by Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Ji will provide immediate relief to millions of farmers, street vendors and people from different walks of life.” –IHN-NN

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