FM announces the second phase of the ₹20 lakh crore relief package

New Delhi: – On Wednesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the details for ₹ 6 trillion of the ₹ 20 trillion economic package which was declared by the Prime Minister. She announced the financial provisions for labour and farmers from this economic package on Thursday. According to this, NABARD will be making ₹ 300 billion available to the farmers through the rural banks for agricultural loans. The migrant workers will be provided free ration for two more months. Farmers involved in fishing and animal husbandry will also be provided with the credit card facility. Sitharaman also announced an important decision of increase in wages for workers under the MNREGA scheme.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that this package is intended to provide impetus to all industry sectors while announcing the ₹ 20 trillion economic package for the ‘Self-Reliant India Campaign’. The Prime Minister also said that this package is for the farmers, labourers and honest taxpayers, along with the MSME sector. Finance Minister Sitharaman announced schemes targeted for the MSME and cottage industries on Wednesday. On Thursday, Sitharaman announced some crucial decisions for the labourers, farmers and hawkers.

Thousands of labourers are returning to their native places after the loss of their daily wages. These labourers are being offered an opportunity to earn their livelihood at the local level through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) scheme. These migrant workers are being registered under the MNREGA scheme. The number of workers registered under the MNREGA scheme has shown an increase of 50%. Finance Minister Sitharaman informed that 23.3 million workers had been given jobs under MNREGA till Wednesday. Sitharaman announced that the daily wages under the MNREGA scheme have been raised to ₹ 202. This will benefit millions of workers. At the same time, these migrant workers will be supplied 5 kgs of wheat or rice and 1 kg of daal for the next two months. The families without a ration card also can benefit from this scheme. Sitharaman clarified that this would benefit nearly 80 million workers and this will cost the government exchequer ₹35 billion. But the implementation of these schemes will be in the hands of the states.

₹ 300 billion is being made available to NABARD to distribute crop loans to the farmers through the rural banks. Sitharaman said that this would benefit 30 million farmers. The large outlay has been sanctioned for distribution of loans to farmers and rural economies. Sitharaman informed that farm loans to the tune of ₹ 866 billion have been disbursed between 1st March and 30th April.

Moreover, the repayment period of farm loans has also been extended. A new Kisan card has been launched under the Kisan Credit Card scheme with an enhanced credit limit of ₹25,000. Farmers in the fishing and animal husbandry businesses also will be eligible for the new Kisan Card. This will help them to avail loans at discounted rates. Sitharaman said that loans of ₹ 2 trillion would be provided at discounted prices. She also clarified that the scheme for the discounted rate of interest would continue till 31st May.

Provision of ₹ 50 billion has been made for the hawkers. This scheme will be operational after one month. The hawkers will be provided capital of ₹ 10,000 under this scheme. Sitharaman declared that there would be an incentive if they accept digital payments.

A scheme to offer rental houses at economical rates for migrant workers and the poor in the urban areas has been proposed under Prime Minister Awas Yojana. Entrepreneurs building such homes on

their land will be offered certain concessions. The Housing Loan Subsidy Scheme introduced in the year 2017, for the individuals in the income group between 600,000 and 1.8 million, has been extended till 31st March 2021. This will provide an impetus to the housing sector. Sitharaman expressed confidence that there will be an increase in employment generation because of the resultant increase in demand for steel and building materials. A package of ₹ 700 billion has been announced for this.

Finance Minister Sitharaman brought relief to the small businesses under the Mudra loan category. Small vendors, with borrowing less than 50,000 under the Shishu category, have been offered a moratorium from repayment for three months. The vendors paying the instalments in time after that will be given a 2% rebate in the interest rate. Sitharaman said that this would benefit 30 million borrowers with a 2% interest rebate.

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