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Empowering Migrants

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  • Published
    2nd Sep, 2020
  • The GaribKaiyonRojgarAbhiyaan launched by the Prime Minister is specifically for migrant workers who have returned to their villages owing to the dearth of livelihood opportunities in urban areas.
  • GaribKalyanRojgarAbhiyaan
    • The programme is being steered by Ministry of Rural Development in coordination with 11 other ministries including "Panchayati Raj, Road Transport and Highways, Mines, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, New and Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture."
  • The GaribKalyanRojgarAbhiyaan has the following objectives:
    • Provide for immediate employment opportunities to returnee migrant workers and similarly affected rural population.
    • Saturate villages with public infrastructure and assets.
    • Set the stage for enhancing longer term livelihood opportunities.
  • Governance Aspects under the Abhiyaan
    • A web portal has also been created for the campaign in order to ensure transparency.
    • It will provide information related to the various facets of the program across the many schemes being implemented in 116 districts.
    • The portal would aid in monitoring the effective implementation and completion of the work being undertaken under this program.

Benefits of the Abhiyaan

  • The programme will bring economic, social and psychological security to a large proportion of migrant labourers who have been shaken due to the devastating effects of the pandemic.
  • The programme will aid in creating sustainable infrastructure across myriad sectors. This will help the rural economy not only in the immediate term but also in the future when the effect of the pandemic recedes.
  • One of the biggest challenges facing the economy has been suppression of economic demand. The infusion of funds (50,000 crores) over 125 days will boost rural demand in these 6 states, and this could have a multiplier effect, increasing demand in general.
  • In the absence of this programme, there would have been a rise in rural unemployment. There was also a fear of the agriculture sector witnessing disguised unemployment, campaign addresses this issue through the exercise of skill mapping. It will not only lead to effective utilisation of the exposure and the experience of the migrant returnees, but will also further hone their skills.
  • The programmes chosen for targeted delivery already have processes in place due to its preconception. Given the need of immediate relief for migrant labourers, quick delivery of opportunities under this program will augur well for the well-being of these workers.
  • The design of the programme has been conceived in mission mode with outcome indicators being simultaneously monitored on a dashboard. This will set a precedent for mobilizing social protection programs across the country in times of distress and has the potential to become a model for future challenges that the country may face.
  • The programme will encourage co-ordination and collaboration between Union, State and Local Governments pushing the spirit of Cooperative Federalism

Relief Measures Announced by Government focused on Migrants

  • An online dashboard “National Migrant Information System (NMIS)” has been developed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
    • This online portal has been envisaged for maintaining a central repository on migrant workers. This would facilitate inter-State coordination for smooth movement of migrants to their native places. It also has additional advantages like facilitating contact tracing, which may be useful in overall COVID-19 response work.
  • The Government has expedited the implementation of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ throughout India to ensure food security for one and all. 67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states covering 83 percent of PDS population will be covered by national portability by August 2020. 100 percent national portability will be achieved by March 2021.
  • The Government has promised a free supply of five kg of foodgrain per person and 1 kg channa per family which has recently been extended uptill November 2020.
  • A special credit facility with liquidity of up to Rs. 5,000 crore has been announced for 50 lakh street vendors providing them with working capital up to Rs. 10,000.
  • The Government will launch a scheme under PMAY for migrant labour/urban poor to provide ease of living at affordable rent. Affordable rental housing complexes would be created for migrant workers and the urban poor.
  • 1500 Crores Interest Subvention has been provisioned under MUDRA-Shishu Loans (Maximum loan amount of Rs. 50,000).
  • The Government has permitted State Governments to utilize State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for setting up shelter for migrants and providing them food and water etc. The Central Government also released Rs. 11002 crores of its contribution in advance to all States to augment funds in their SDRF.
  • 12,000 SHGs have produced 3 crore masks and 1.20 lakh liters of sanitizers. This gave additional employment opportunity to the urban poor.
  • Disbursal of Revolving Fund to Self Help Groups was on boarded on PAiSA Portal in April 2020 on a pilot basis in Gujarat and is now being rolled out across all the States in May 2020.
  • To help boost rural economy, an additional Rs. 40,000 crore has been allocated under MGNREGS. This has increased the Union Budget allocation for MGNREGS from Rs. 61,500 crore to Rs 1,01,500 crore (65 percent increase) for 2020-21

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