NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that Rs 5,000 crore credit facility will be given to 50 lakh street vendors hit by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Addressing a press conference, the Union minister said the government will launch a special scheme within a month to facilitate easy access to credit to the street vendors.
“We will provide Rs 5,000 crore special credit facility for street vendors. The initial working capital of Rs 10,000 will be provided to them,” the minister said.
“The Covid-19 lockdown has had an adverse impact on the street vendors. The special scheme will facilitate easy access to credit to the street vendors,” Sitharaman added.
She said the digital payments will be incentivised throught monetary rewards and enhanced working capital credit would be made available for good repayment behaviour.
The Union minister also announced free foodgrains for an estimated 8 crore migrant workers for next two months at a cost of Rs 3,500 crore.
Announcing other measures, Sitharaman said the second tranche of economic stimulus package will be for the benefit of migrant workers, street vendors and small farmers.
She said 3 crore marginal farmers have already availed Rs 4 lakh crore of loans on concessional rates.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday announced a cumulative package of Rs 20 lakh crore (nearly 10 per cent of GDP) to provide relief to various segments of the economy. This included Rs 1.7 lakh crore package comprising of free foodgrains and cash to poor for three months announced in March, and Rs 5.6 lakh crore stimulus provided through various monetary policy measures by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The remaining of the Rs 20 lakh crore package is being announced in tranches — Sitharman had in the first tranche on Wednesday unveiled a Rs 5.94 lakh crore plan that mostly comprises off-budget items such as Rs 3 lakh crore of credit line to small businesses as support to shadow banks and electricity distributors.
Off-budget items do not result in any outgo from the government exchequer but these will aid in easing liquidity constrains for businesses once the lockdown is lifted.
In Video:Govt announces Rs 5,000 crore special credit facility for street vendors