COVID-19 package

The special COVID-19 package

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gives details of the special COVID-19 package at a press conference.

Central Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said this in the second conference of the COVID-19 special package. This was focusing the migrant workers, farmers, street vendors, and tribal people under Atma Nirbhar Bharat.

She described nine steps under the second installment of the COVID-19 package. Three include migrant workers, two to farmers, one related to street vendors, and one of employment generation the tribal-dominated areas among others.

The special COVID-19 package’s benefits for migrant worker

For the next two months, she announced a free food grain supply for all migrants. Even if a migrant worker does not have a BPL card, the government gives 5kg wheat or rice, 1kg pulses, and 1kg gram (chana) for them.

Sitharaman said, more than Rs. 11,000 crore provided to the states. To provide food for the migrant workers who are staying in the camps three times a day.

The center was implementing steps to create jobs for migrant workers returning from other states through the MNREA, Sitharaman said.  She said that as of May 13, over 14.62 lakh jobs created through 1.87 lakh gram Panchayats.

How to create this project

Let us assume that 8 million migrants get free food. The Center will bear that cost. They do not charge anything. The total cost of the project estimated at Rs. 3,500 crore. This will reach through the state governments. The state governments will be implementing agencies,” Sitharaman said.

She launched the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme for migrant workers who have a BPL card from any state.  This is done through the portability of ration cards.  She said the scheme implemented by March next year.

In an attempt to respond to the Modi government’s criticism of the plight of migrants, Sitharaman listed how the center helped the states in providing food to migrant workers in various shelters and camps.

The special COVID-19 package’s benefits for others

Up to 50 percent registered for work under MGNREA in May this year compared to the same month in 2019, Sitharaman said.  The minimum wage increased from Rs. 188 to Rs. 202.

The finance minister said the government is pushing to pay a common floor wage for workers in the states. The government implemented measures include the right of women professionals to work night shifts.

More than 3 crores of farmers, most of them marginal farmers, have already benefited from loans worth Rs 4.22 crores. They do not need to pay 12 monthly premiums.

During this period of COVID-19 outbreak, 25 lakh new Kisan credit cards given with a credit limit of Rs.25,000, finance minister said.

affordable rental housing scheme

Sitharaman launched the ‘Affordable Housing Scheme’ for migrant workers under the special COVID-19 package.  This is done through PM Awas Yojana.  Sitharaman said private housing players could develop new housing schemes and the government will encourage.

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