Food, shelter and livelihood for migrant workers, street vendors and small farmers in Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore package

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday unveiled the second tranche of Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore fiscal stimulus, which attempts to address the question of food, shelter and livelihood for migrant workers, street vendors and small farmers.
The immediate relief measure announced was extra grain. A universal, portable ration card which can be used across the country and affordable rental housing scheme are also in the works. “There is a legitimate concern about migrants returning to their home states. We are attending to migrants,” the minister said amid rising opposition criticism that the Centre is ignoring the plight of migrant labourers. For farmers, the minister announced a Kisan Card. Provisions for loans have been made for street vendors and tribals.
Sitharaman said what the government is giving currently will continue and additional food grain will also be given. In addition, those who don’t have a ration card, can avail 5 kg of rice or wheat and 5kg chana per family. This will benefit approximately 8 crore people and the government has allocated Rs 3,500 crore for this. “This will be enacted by state governments, and will be valid for the next 3 months,” she added.
The ongoing “One Nation One Ration Card ” scheme, under which anyone, irrespective of where they are, can avail of ration, will be completed, Sitharaman said. “The One Nation One Ration Card is already rolled out 83 per cent so far, and will be 100 per cent by March 2021,” she said, adding, “This will ensure people get their rightful ration whichever corner of the country they may be”.
Under the PM Awas Yojana, a scheme will start for rental housing, where institutions and associations will be asked to provide affordable housing on their premises. The government will also make provisions for affordable housing for the urban poor, labourers and migrants in all states and UTs, which will be built under public-private partnership.
For people earning between Rs 6 lakh and 18 lakh, a Rs 70,000-crore scheme for subsidised housing is being worked out. “We are now offering a one-year extension of the scheme, from March 2020 to March 2021. This had already benefited 3.3 lakh families. The extension of 1 year will benefit another 2.5 lakh families and generate a demand in the housing sector,” the minister said.
Sitharaman also announced a Rs 5,000 crore special credit facility benefit for street vendors, which will be launched within a month. Under it, a vendor can avail a loan of Rs 10,000 and it will benefit 50 lakh street vendors. A Rs 600 crore fund for boost to tribal sector work.
Those who need loans under Rs 50,000,  will have a 2 per cent interest subversion rate. This will benefit roughly 3 crore people who are beneficiaries under the “MUDRA SHISHU” category. The overall benefit for them will be Rs 1,500 crore.
The Kisan Credit Card, meant for farmers, will be extended to fishermen and animal husbandry workers. It will also cover around 2.5 crore farmers who don’t have it yet under the Rs 2 lakh crore scheme. For small and marginal farmers, an additional fund of Rs 30,000 crore will be added to the existing Rs 90,000 crore under NABARD. This will help especially in the Rabi season and benefit 3 crore farmers, the minister said.