On 14th May 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the details of the much-anticipated relief packaged which was declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation earlier this week. 

With the lockdown being implemented in full force, a lot of migrant laborers and workers have been finding it really difficult to get through days in the absence of income and the things that it allows them to buy. Therefore, by all means, this economic package announced by the government sounds a relief to many. 

Some of the key features announced in the package are laid down for you here, in case you happened to miss out on the announcement. 

Highlights of FM’s announcement of the Relief package benefits

  • Free foodgrains: Procuring food grains provided by the government for really affordable prices has been an issue for many Indians working on meager incomes. FM informed that free ration for even non-cardholders would be provided. This is supposed to benefit 8 crore migrant workers for the next two months as they will get 5kg of grains per person and 1kg of ‘chana’. 
  • One Nation One Ration Card: Migrant workers are stuck across various parts of India making it difficult for them to procure documents especially in times like these. FM announced that PDS ration cards will be made portable in 23 states by August. She said, “By 21 March 2021, 100 percent coverage under ‘One Nation One Ration card’ will be done”. 
  • Affordable Urban rental housing: The stranded labor force finds it really difficult to stay indoors when there is no house to live inside of. The government, therefore, will soon provide affordable rental houses to Migrant workers and the urban poor under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme. 
  • Small loans under the MUDRA scheme: FM Sitharaman also said that a 2% interest rate subvention under the MUDRA Shishu scheme will be provided as a part of the package. The main beneficiaries under this scheme would be farmers, migrant laborers, and street vendors who are lacking capital. 
  • Tribal area benefits: 600 crores will be earmarked to boost industries and occupations in Tribal areas to provide them with means to earn a decent livelihood in the face of crisis. 
  • Farmer credit cards: Kisan credit cards will be issued for farmers which will enable farmers to gain access to institutional credit at really concessional and affordable interest rates. About 2.5 crore farmers are estimated to benefit from this. 
  • Shelters and meals: The government has also ensured that the ones stranded find adequate housing solutions and would get three meals a day. 

In conclusion

The government of India has tried to cover up most of the facets of concerns that have come up due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With this fleshed out scheme, it is now to be seen how well the state governments tend to execute the said plans accompanied by the capital earmarked for its execution. These subschemes not only aim to benefit farmers and migrant laborers but also aim to revive the Indian economy which has currently taken a severe blow.

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