Financial vaccine would revive lives at the bottom of the pyramid: ASSOCHAM president Dr Hiranandani
New Delhi/IBNS: The COVID infected economy got the second dose from the finance ministry and would boost the immunity of some of the most underprivileged sections of the society that is the farmers, labourers, street vendors and the tribals, stated Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, President, ASSOCHAM.
“Some measures like the extension of interest subvention for existing loans to small farmers till May 31, 2020, and sanctioning of 22 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards will ease the liquidity crisis that the marginalized farmers and rural economy is struggling with,” said Dr. Hiranandani.
As the agriculture sector is the 3rd largest contributor to the GDP and also the highest employment generator with 43% workforce dependent on, it has been rightly given the maximum prominence in this leg of measures, he said.
According to Dr. Hiranandani, the other measures taken by the government that includes approval of additional loans for the agriculture sector, refinancing of existing loans and support of additional funds for rural infrastructure is a step in the right direction to revive the rural economy.
“The government has also sanctioned a corpus of â‚¹6,700 crore for state agencies for agricultural produce procurement. Through these measures, the finance ministry has taken an honest step to provide liquidity support to the rural economy,” Dr Hiranandani added.
For migrant workers who have faced the maximum burnt due to this ongoing lockdown the government has notified this fact and have taken steps like “One nation one Ration card scheme’, the continuation of MNREGA scheme during monsoon, provision of food and shelter, increasing the average wage rates to ease the stress that this section of the society is facing,” explained Dr. Hiranandani.
The Special credit facility of Rs 5,000 crores for 50 lakh street vendors to provide them with Initial working capital of up to Rs 10,000 will give a lifeline to them and help them restart their source of livelihood, which no government has done till date,” he added.
“The Central government’s move to initiate projects worth Rs 6000 crores to provide jobs for Adivasis and tribals is a step in the right direction,” He explained.
India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said all migrant workers, who received a body blow due to the anti-Coronavirus lockdown, will get free food grains for the next two months.
Sitharaman, who was providing the second tranche of the Narendra Modi government's mega stimulus of Rs. 20 lakh crore economic package, said the government will bear the expense of Rs. 3,500 crore in providing free food grains for the migrant workers.
However, the identification of the migrants, implementation and distribution of the ration will be entirely carried out by the respective state governments which are run by diverse political parties of the country including Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Farmers found a place in Modi's mega economic package, which the government claims will help India to become "Aatmanirbhar" or self-reliant, as Sitharaman said three crore farmers with agricultural loans of Rs. 4.22 lakhs crore availed the benefit of three months loan moratorium.
The government has extended the incentives on crop loans, which was due from Mar 1, till May 31.