Nirmala Sitharaman Day 2 briefing on economic package: Union Finance Minister announces free food grain supply for migrants for next two months

14 May, 2020 | newsx bureau

FM Nirmala Sitharaman National

Nirmala Sitharaman Day 2 briefing on economic package: Union Finance Minister announces free food grain supply to migrants for the next two months and has also promised affordable rental housing co...

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, free food grain supply to migrants and creation of affordable rental housing complexes (ARHC) in urban areas for migrant workers and poor in the second tranche of the COVID-19 stimulus package. Addressing a press conference, Sitharaman stated that migrants who are neither covered under the National Food Security Act or state card beneficiaries will be provided 5 kg of grains per person and 1 kg chana per family for two months.

“About 8 crore migrants are expected to benefit under the scheme. Rs 3,500 crore will be spent on this intervention for two months. The cost will be fully borne by the Government of India,” she said. The Finance Minister also announced the introduction of the “One Nation One Ration Card” enabling migrants to access food grains through the Public Distribution System (PDS) from any fair price shop in India by March 2021.

She stated that “67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states covering 83 percent of PDS population will be covered by national portability by August 2020 and 100 percent national portability will be achieved by March 2021.”Moreover, Sitharaman informed that Centre will soon launch a scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna for migrant labour and urban poor to provide ease of living at affordable rent by – converting the government-funded housing in the cities into affordable rental housing complexes (ARHC) under PPP mode through a concessionaire.

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On Wednesday, Sitharaman had announced a series of liquidity measures for millions of small businesses reeling under the impact of COVID-19 lockdown, including collateral-free automatic loans worth Rs 3 lakh crore. The Centre also reduced the statutory Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution of private-sector employers and employees from current mandated 12 percent to 10 percent for the next three months.