With the economic conditions of lakhs of people completely upended, the need of the hour has been clarity on what the government is doing to ease their immediate pain. The previous few press conferences all spoke about plans and big numbers, but offered little in the way of actual relief.
12,000 self-help groups (SHGs) have produced more than 3 crore masks and 1.2 lakh litres of sanitizers during #COVID19 period. 7,200 new SHGs for urban poor have been formed during the last two months: FM Nirmala Sitharaman pic.twitter.com/l7AFedNofV— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2020
1. Free food grain for all migrants (around 8 crore) for the next 2 months.
2. Implementation of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ benefiting 67 crore people in 23 states covering 83% of PDS population.
3. Affordable rental housing for migrant workers to provide ease of living by converting government-funded housing in cities into Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC)
4. Rs 5000 crore Special Credit Facility to support nearly 50 lakh street vendors. Initial working capital of Rs 10,000 will be given to each street vendor
5. Re-finance support of Rs 30,000 crores for crop loan requirement of Rural Co-op banks and Regional Rural Banks. Will directly reach and benefit 3 crore rural farmers
6. Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit will be extended for 2.5 crore farmers (fishermen, animal husbandry farmers included) via Kisan Credit Cards.
7. To create jobs for tribals/adivasis, Rs 6000 crore to be approved under Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA) Funds.
8. States have been permitted to utilise State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for setting up shelter for migrants and providing food and water.
9. Extension of the affordable housing scheme for middle income group with Rs 6 lakh to Rs 18 lakh annual income.
10. 2% interest subvention on the smallest category of loans given under the MUDRA scheme.
Those were the main takeaways of today’s press conference. Hopefully the plans come to fruition.