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Everything you need to know about the financial relief package being introduced by the centre for the poor

There are a lot of people like farmers, migrant workers and rickshaw pullers who are unable to survive without any income for 21 days the condition of these people is worsening as the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some are at the point of starvation at the present times.

The Finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced a relief package on Thursday under
the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna which is the right step in the right direction. The plan has been curated by including some support system to it and backup for the poor.

An involvement of rs 16,000 crore in Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi expenditure and Rs5,600 crore of expenditure in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment guarantee act scheme wages increase that has already been notified by the rural development ministry on 23 March. The release of food grain stock is hiked by high prices when the real cost is much lower as compared to it.the funds being sought from the construction workers welfare funds are not to be belonging with Union government. If a closer look is taken hen it comes out that the relief funds introduced by the centre amount to 1 lakh crore and not 1.7 lakh crore.

The relief package includes distribution of food rations and cash transfers the foodgrain
ration improvisations are largely welcomed and there is a need of doubling the ration to last for up to 3 months the additions of pulses to the public distribution system is also there.

However many poor people are excluded from the PDS and the 2011 data count is being
used till now for the distribution of the food ration among these people under the national
food security act. After making use of 2020 data of the count of poor people it will be much easier for the state government to issue the right amount of ration cards to these people.

The supplementation of food grains with cash transfer still remains crucial.
The PMGKP has been far away from perfect. The social security pension for the elderly and the widows has seen a short shrift again. The contribution of Gol in the social security pension has paused and reduced to rs200 every month since 2006 even after having repeated appeals for it. This needs to be raised to at least 1000 per month. The pensioners are getting a one-off grant of rs 1000 at the cost of just 3,000 crores.

Another reason here is that the use of women Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan yojana as a place
to put emergency transfers of cash is not clear but a better choice would be the list which
consists of poor households under MNREGA job cards. The list includes middle-class
people while excluding the poor people.

These accounts were opened by the tearing need for the masses and most of these have
been suspended or have faults like wrong Aadhar card numbers, unknown to the holders, or have been stashed with black money. The job card list is more reliable, transparent, and well tested than the PMJDY one. It is a natural complement to the social security pensioners and one drawback is that a different list must have been used in urban settings.

The third one which is most crucial out of these is that the amount of cash transfers is small and makes it impossible to survive on the amount for a month. The allocation of 31,000 crore transfers the amount to the holders of the account every month.

The disbursement system will always continue to be a huge challenge. However, if all three systems that are social security pensioners PMGKP and the other cash transfers work together they can build a safety net for the people during these conditions. But some people will fall through the cracks and to avoid any tragedy a fourth leg is a need which are the emergency helpline numbers available to all poor people so that no one is on the verge of starvation at any cost. Ther have been similar ideas being executed in the districts of Odisha when it was discontinued by Gol.it was one of its kind that did the right thing.in the rural areas, the Gram Panchayats of Jharkhand have the helping fund of rs 10,000 to help people who are on the verge of hunger or are there already.many places have community kitchens where one can get a simple and nutritious meal. the gram panchayats in Rajasthan have 2-grain sacks for the same purpose.

The need to put helplines at work is increasing with the terrifying stories of poor people
starving mostly the migrant workers. This is not the time to check their Aadhar cards or ration cards but should be provided immediately with food and other necessities.

Much more needs to be done in terms of humanitarian support and it is about the income
support mostly.it should also include effective health services and care programs for
children. As soon as the conditions improve, MNREGA will become important again in terms of immediate relief and economic construction. Needless to say that governments’ plan of action should be moving beyond their limited resources and measures initiated this week.

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