Cabinet approves Rs 3,110 crore foodgrain package under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat package, 8 crore migrants to benefit
The migrant workers have been hardest hit by the economic impact of coronavirus.Updated: May 20, 2020 19:22 IST
The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the allocation of free foodgrains for approximately 8 crore migrants for the month of May and June as part of the relief announced by the centre under the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package. The economic package worth nearly Rs 21 lakh crore was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman over five days last week and it contained monetary and policy interventions to revive the Indian economy as it battles the economic doom spelt by coronavirus pandemic.
On May 14, while delivering the second chunk of the economic relief package, Sitharaman had announced that the central government had decided to extend the free foodgrain distribution scheme to migrants who were neither beneficiaries under the NFSA (National Food Security Act) or holders of state cards. She had valued the total cost of this intervention to about Rs 3,500 crore.
The scheme involves the grant of foodgrain from the central pool to approximately 8 crore migrant labourers who are either stranded or have reached their homes. Every migrant will be eligible for receiving 5 kg of foodgrain a month for two months of May and June 2020.
Centre said the cost of this subsidy will be in excess of Rs 3100 crore.
“It would entail an estimated food subsidy of about Rs 2,982.27 crore. Further, the expenditure towards intra-state transportation and handling charges and dealer’s margin/additional dealer margin will account for about Rs 127.25 crore, which will be borne fully by the Central Government. Accordingly, the total subsidy from the Government of India is estimated at about of Rs.3,109.52 crore,” an official cabinet press document said.
Migrant workers are among the worst-hit due to the lockdown imposed in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. The pandemic and its resultant economic and social impact has not only cost migrants their jobs and money, but also forced them to retreat to their home states in one of the largest workforce exodus seen in the recent times.
Several migrant workers have even ended up losing their lives in accidents as they make a desperate dash to their homes in the absence of adequate public transport.
The central government said the allocation will ease the hardships faced by the migrant workforce due to economic disruptions caused by Covid-19.