Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said the entire country feels bad about the plight of migrant workers and announced free food grain supply to migrants for 2 months.
Sitharaman, unveiling the second tranche of measures of the government's self-reliant campaign, said migrants in various states require food-grain assistance.
"Migrants who neither come under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) nor are they state card beneficiaries in states where they are stationed will be provided 5 kg of grains per person and 1 kg of 'chana' per family for two months", said Sitharaman.
Emphasizing the government's commitment to support migrant workers in the tough times during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Sitharaman said: "About 8 crore migrants are expected to benefit and Rs 3,500 crore will be spent on this intervention for 2 months."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a view to reviving the economy left devastated by the nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus spread, had announced a Rs 20-lakh crore special economic package.
Sitharaman, during the press briefing, reiterated that the government is committed to the welfare of migrant workers. She emphasized that the entire food grain intervention for the migrants will be borne by the Centre. "The cost will be fully borne by the government of India. State governments would be responsible for the implementation and identification of migrants through guidelines", added Sitharaman.
She said under MNREGA support for migrants, 14.62 crore person-days of work generated till May 13 and actual expenditure to date is around Rs 10,000 crore. "States/UTs are advised to provide work to migrant workers as per the Act. Planning is on for continuing MNREGA works in monsoon as well as plantations, horticulture, livestock related sheds", said Sitharaman..