Finance Minister Sitharaman announces measures for supporting the poor, including migrants, farmers, tiny businesses and street vendors

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The government of India has opened several financing means for the farmers, tiny businesses and street vendors to cope with the COVID caused hardships. It has also reformed norms to allow the migrant workers to get free food grains even without having a ration card. Besides, for the migrant workers, the government has plans of providing low-priced rental houses, and a ration card they can use anywhere in India.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the plan in the press address on May 14. It was her second in Self-reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat) press address series.

The government has relaxed ration card and National Food Security beneficiary norms for the migrant workers to make them eligible for 5 kg of food grains per person in the family and 1 kg of the pulse at free of cost for the next two months. At the onset of the Corona lockdown, the government of India had committed to providing an additional 5 kg of rice or wheat per person and 1kg of pulse per family having a ration card from April to June.  The benefit is now extended to cover the migrant workers.

The Center has allocated 5 lakh metric tons of food grains and 50000 metric tons of pulse to the states and UTs for this purpose. The center will bear Rs 3500 crore for it, as per the government statement.

The government will go ahead with upgrading the ration cards so that one can use it across the country. By August 2020, 23 states will enjoy the facility benefitting 67 crore people in India. It is 83 percent of the total PDS beneficiaries which is to cover 100 percent by March 20201. This will help migrant workers in a big way.

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The finance Minister also said that the government was planning to facilitate to develop housing complexes to provide those at affordable rent.  It will provide social security and quality life to migrant labor, urban poor, and students, etc, the statement said.


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