With the third phase of lockdown ending on May 17 and contours of the fourth stage being in discussion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address to the nation, had said that recent set of announcements in addition to the government’s earlier Covid package and decisions of RBI amounts to Rs 20 lakh crore or 10 per cent of India’s GDP. He had pointed out that several bold reforms would have to be undertaken to make the country self-reliant so that the impact of the global pandemic could be negated.
As on Friday morning, the total number of novel coronavirus cases in the country crossed the 80,000 mark, including 2649 deaths. While there are 51,401 active cases, as many as 27919 persons have recovered so far.
In the first tranche, 16 specific announcements cut across sectors that range from MSME and Non Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to real estate and power distribution and the salaried were made, but the overarching theme was that of infusing liquidity. Meanwhile, Thursday’s measures focused on the poorer segments of society, including migrant labour, small and marginal farmers and urban poor, seems skewed more towards the long-term.
The announcement of free foodgrain supply (5 kg of grains and 1 kg chana per person) for two months to 8 crore migrant workers without a ration card and outside the ambit of National Food Security Act was expected to provide some relief to migrant workers.
But experts said this entails resolving complicated logistical issues. Since every public distribution shop has a fixed number of registrants based on which the stock of foodgrains is supplied to the shop, allowing accessibility to non-cardholders may result in shortage of supplies at these outlets.
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