Migrant Workers Get Free Food Grains, Portable Ration Cards and Subsidised Rental Housing Under INR 20 Lakh Cr Special Package
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The second installment of measures under the special economic package of INR 20 lakh crore was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday. The measures unveiled in the second tranche were focused on migrant workers, street vendors, small farmers and small traders.
Foremost, all those migrant labors who are not covered under food security act or state schemes will be given 5 kg per person on wheat or rice and 1 kg per family of channa dal per month for two months. This will be done through the states, which are aware where the migrant workers are currently staying, FM said.
As per FM Sitharaman around 8 crore migrants will benefit from this free food grain supply and the intervention will cost the exchequer INR 3,500 crore.
To further help the migrants, the government will roll out One Nation One Ration Card scheme, which will make ration cards portable across the country. Portable cards can be used in any ration shop in any part of the country as workers move from state to state.
The FM claimed that the scheme will be fully implemented by August for 67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states, which constitute 83 per cent of Public Distribution System (PDS). All beneficiaries of PDS will be on the system by March 2021, she stated. This initiative is a technology-driven system, as announced as a pillar of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (India self-reliant campaign) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week.
The FM also announced rental housing scheme for migrant labourers in the conference.
Under this scheme, which falls under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, government funded housing in cities will be converted into Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC). Further, manufacturing units, industries, institutions, associations as well as state government agencies and central government organizations will be incentivized to develop ARHC on their private land.
The first set of measures announced a day before by the FM provided emergency credit line to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), liquidity boost to non-banking financial institutions, extension on completion date of construction projects and reduction in Provident Fund contribution of both employers and employees, among other things.