• Abhi Sharma

Nirmala Sitharaman speech highlights: Second tranche has relief for migrant workers, small farmers

Updated: May 22, 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the second tranche of Covid stimulus of Rs 20 lakh crore aimed at the migrant workers, small farmers, street vendors and affordable housing. On Wednesday, the FM, who was flanked by finance ministry officials and MoS Anurag Thakur, announced the first set of measures that focussed on relief to MSMEs, NBFCs, power discoms among others. MSMEs were extended lines of credit worth Rs 3 lakh crore, Rs 30,000 crore was announced for the NBFCs and R Rs 90,000 crore for the beleaguered discoms. India Inc had welcomed the steps announced under the first tranche. During her address today, the finance minister also noted the steps announced by the government for migrant workers and farmers in the post-Covid period.

Key Highlights: Help for farmers and migrant workers in the Post-Covid period:

  • 3 crore marginal farmers availed loans at concessional rates. These 3 cr farmers had already benefited from Rs 4 lakh crore of loans given to them. The RBI moratorium has also benefited them.

  • Interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive on crop loans, due from March 1, extended up to May 31, 2020. 25 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards sanctioned with a loan limit of Rs 25,000 crore

  • Central govt released Rs 11,002 crore in advance to states to augment the SDRF funds for helping states to set up shelters for migrant workers and provide them food.

  • 12,000 SHGs at urban centres comprising urban poor have produced 3 crore masks and 1,20,000 litres of sanitisers. 7,200 new SHGs of urban poor have been formed during the period starting March 15, 2020.

  • For migrant workers who have returned to their homes, work is being made available through MGNREGS. Till May 13, 14.62 cr person-days of work generated. Work offered to 2.33 crore wage seekers yesterday in 1.87 lakh gram panchayats. 40-50% more workers given work compared to May last year. States have been advised to provide them work. Annual expenditure till date is Rs 10,000 crore. Average wage rate has risen to Rs 202 from Rs 192 in last fiscal.

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