One Nation One Ration Card, Improvement for Rural Economy, Empowerment to Women, Migrant workers & farmers: Part 2 of Series “Honorable Finance Minister Announcements”

During the critical period of lockdown, the government is taking various initiatives and measures under which some of them are general, whereas some are specific in the context of promotion and maintenance of livelihood for poor people.

On the second day, the Honorable Finance Minister has announced on the second tranche of incentives which is focusing mainly on  9 mega steps for:

  • Migrant workers
  • Street vendors
  • Small traders
  • Self-employed persons
  • Small farmers

Recalling Support to Farmers & Rural  Economy Provided

  • PM Kisan Samaan :

Allocation of Rs.6000/-  has been credited to each Kisan accountholder.

  • PM Fasal Bima Yojna
  • PM Kisan Credit Card
  • Soil Health Card
  • Insurance Scheme for the betterment of Kisan:

Allocation of funds amounting to Rs.6000 crore towards the scheme.

  • Rationalization of the opening of Bank Account of Kisan – without the fulfillment of any KYC norms.

 Direct Support to Farmers & Rural  Economy

  • Provision of agricultural loans, sanctioned amount of Rs.4.22 crores.
  • Provision for availing the benefit of 3 months loan moratorium period.
  • Extension in the period of payment under Interest Subvention & Prompt Repayment Incentive up to 31st May 2020 due from 1st March 2020.
  • Issuance of new Kisan Credit Cards with an overall loan limit of Rs.25000 crore.
  • MSMEs’ contribution has also benefitted the poor and urban poor people.

Financial/Liquid  Support to Farmers & Rural  Economy

  • Facilitation of agricultural loan amounting Rs.63000 crore
  • NABARD has facilitated refinancing to Co-operative Banks and Regional Rural Banks, amounting to Rs.29500 crore.
  • Provision of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), regulated under State jurisdiction RIDF, amounting to Rs.4200 crore for rural infrastructure
  • Provision of Working capital to State governed entities amounting to Rs.6700 crore for
  • State Governments to procure agricultural produce; and
  • Providing income from such harvest to farmers provides additional measures of income.

Support For Urban Poor (includes Migrants

  • Utilization for the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for setting up shelter homes, food, and water, sanctioning Rs.11000 crores.
  • Provision of 3 meals per day, for shelter homes occupied by urban homeless entirely at the cost of the government taking into consideration the hygienic issues.
  • Self Help Groups (SHG) relatively 12000 produced 3 crore masks and 1.20 lakh liters sanitizers thus have an additional source of income in view of supporting such persons and groups.
  • Provision of Disbursal of Revolving Fund (RF) to SHG facilitated through PAISA Portal in April 2020 in Gujrat, India has ranged to all states with effect from May 2020.
  • Establishment of new Self-Help Groups (SHG) and assistance extended to such 7400 SHGs.

Exclusive Support to Migrant Workers

  • Generation  of work for wager workers till 13th May 2020 which is  covering 14.62 crore persons
  • The generation of wage workers in Gram Panchayats is approx. 1.87 lakhs
  • Enrollment of wageworkers on a daily basis to ensure assistance comparatively increased from May last year.
  • Special Drive for enrolling migrants workers and generation of assistance as per the relevant provisions of the act prevailing in the state.
  • MGNREGA support all the migrant workers, who are returning to their states.
  • 10000 crore fund, allocated for migrant workers for the assistance reflecting various measures and assistance.
  • Increase in wageworker daily wage to Rs.202/- per day from Rs. 182 in the last FY.
  • Provision of Free food Assistance based on  3 ’5’s  –
    • It is allowed per individual in the family and it will benefit 8 crore migrants. Such 5 iterates 5kg Wheat, 5kg Floor & 5kg Channa.
    • About 8 crores migrants are expected to benefit totaling the amount of Rs.3500 crore is allocated for 2 months.
    • Such migrant workers shall be those who are not identified under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) or State card beneficiaries.
    • Respective State Governments shall implementation, identification of migrants, and full distribution.
  • Technology Driven Assistance of Public Distribution System (PDS) under One Nation One Ration Card
    • This enables all the workers who are not benefitted in the different states for food and basic livelihood.
    • This scheme will enable a  migrant beneficiary to access the  PDS from any Fair Price Shop (FPS)  introduced in 20 states of the country.
    • This forms part of Technology-driven reforms
    • 100% national portability shall be achieved by March 2021.
    • This shall focus on 100% automation of the FPS system enabling One Nation One Ration Card.
  • Affordable Housing Provision  for migrant workers or Urban Poor:
    • The Government has taken initiative to provide affordable housing to all the migrant workers and the urban poor who are getting difficulty in housing.
    • Such shall be done under three modes:
      • Converting Government Funded Housing in the cities into  ARHC under PPP mode.
      • Agreements between and incentivizing to manufacturing units, institutions, associations, and like organizations to ARHC.
      • Incentivizing State Government Agencies, Central Government Organizations to develop  ARHC to operate.

Support to Workers – Reform in Labour Code

  • Proposed Universalization of right of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all workers including unorganized employed directly by the employers, workers directly coming to destination state of their besides the migrant workers employed through a contractor.
  • It helps to reduce disparity in income level
  • Declaration of National Floor Wage
  • Redefining the definition of migrant workers for allowing employability of persons in all establishments =, whether organized or unorganized.
  • As a minimum safeguard to the employee, coverage of ESIC in all establishments, all districts where 10 or more than 10 persons employed.
  • Introduction of Occupational Safety and Health Code
  • Also includes in purview, shall benefit the migrant workers.
  • Also, consideration by all employers of facilitating ESIC on a voluntary basis.
  • ESIC coverage in case of the hazardous industries upon notification by the Govt. Whether small units or in a large, urban, or rural area.
  • Introduction of Social Security Schemes for Gig workers and platform workers.
  • Measures for up-gradation of skills for different sectors of workers for their re-skilling from Re- skilling fund for retrenched employees.
  • All occupations opened for women and permitted to work at night with safeguards.
  • Provision for social security funds for unorganized workers provides assistance in medicals, emergency etc.
  • Revision in completed years under Gratuity, for the fixed-term employment on completion of one year as against 5 years.

Clarification in Announcement 

  • The Extension till the month of April 2020 is given by the Government for the payment of EPF Contribution under which an EPF @12% will be submitted by each of the employer  & employee.
  • Also, the amount which the government will pay at the place of  @24% is in actual 20%  but deemed credited for 24%.

MUDRA Shishu Loans 

  • All the small businesses shall benefit whose businesses have been disrupted due to incapacity of payment of EMI Loans.
  • Loan Moratorium period extension by 3 months. Starting from March 2020.
  • Allocation from the fund for assistance amounting to Rs.1.62 lakh crores.
  • Provision of payment of Interest Subvention of 2%  for prompt payment for a period of 12 months.
  • Relief of Rs-1500 cr to MUDRA-Shishu loanees.

SPECIAL Support to Street Vendors 

  • The scheme shall be launched within 1 month to enable street vendors to get credit access based on the livelihood.
  • The initial help of Rs.10,000 shall be allowed in the first phase.
  • The digital payments shall provide incentivized benefits as follows:
    • Through monetary rewards;  and
    • Enhanced Working Capital for repayment behavior.
  • It facilitates the liquidity of 5000 crores benefitting 50 lakh vendors. 

SPECIAL Support for Tribal Workers & Adivasis

  • As per the fund CAMPA created under  Compensatory Afforestation Act. Such funds shall be used for funding the needs and assistance of tribal workers.
  • The sanctioned fund amounting to Rs.6000 crores.
  • The purpose of utilization of such fund are:
    • Afforestation and plantation work including in urban areas.
    • Artificial regeneration, assisted natural regeneration of works.
    • Forest management, soil and moisture conservation
    • Forest protection, forest and wildlife protection, infrastructure development.
  • The CAMPA stands for Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning
  • This will create job opportunities in urban, semi-urban & rural areas. 

Additional Funding Through NABARD

  • Due to inadequate financial resources with the migrant workers and other workers.
  • The government has decided to finance the crop loan requirement by crediting the RRB &  Rural Cooperative Banks.
  • The funds of Rs. 30,000 crores are allocated as earlier announced 90 crores.
  • Front-loaded on tap facility has been provided to enable finance it easily and directly to the beneficiary.
  • This extended step shall help the approx.. 3 crore farmers and dependents.
  • This also benefits the rabi and the current Kharif crops sustenance.

Extension of funding through Kisan Credit Card Scheme

  • The additional funding is facilitated through the existing PM Kisan credit Card scheme which shall include the existing beneficiaries.
  • The scope of beneficiaries is expanded to include Fishermen & Animal Husbandry farmers.
  • This enables the beneficiaries to get the farmers to gain the institutional credit at the concessional interest rate.
  • This would cover 2.5 lakh farmers and will benefit from a credit flow of about   2lakh crores.

Additional Measures in Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS)

  • The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) enables the middle-income groups with an annual income ranging from 6 lakhs to 18 lakhs, the operation for the said scheme is extended to 31st March 2021.
  • This step will enhance employment generation, create housing, stimulates demand for steel, cement, transport, and other construction works.
  • The approx. 2.5 lakhs families will get benefit from the extension. 

Therefore, all the above decisions taken by the Government shall be effective from the date as mentioned or as notified by the Government in this regard. This series of announcements help the varied small to medium workers, families struggling to survive in this pandemic.