In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Labour & Employment (I/C) Santosh Gangwar said the government has taken various initiatives to create jobs to support the migrant workers who have lost employment due to the spread of COVID-19. He said the government is engaged in job creation for these workers through its schemes like Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan (PMGKRA), among others.
He informed that the Aatmanirbhar Bharat scheme encompasses a Rs. 20 lakh crore economic package for the creation of employment opportunities in the country. For the farmers, the minister informed that under PMGKY, the government is providing ex-gratia payments directly in the beneficiaries’ accounts, besides providing food grains to them. The government has also increased the wages under MGNREGA to benefit the workers.
Apart from initiatives to tackle unemployment issues, the government has also taken steps to boost the rural infrastructure as well as the rural economy with the aim to create employment opportunities at local levels for the migrant returnees. It has allocated Rs 50,000 crore to invest in infrastructure development initiatives. Being implemented through the Ministry of Rural Development in the form of a 125-day campaign the initiative in a mission mode encompasses over 6 states and 116 districts.
In a similar manner, the PMGKRA has also come up with several initiatives to boost the rural economy and infrastructure. as well as to provide employment opportunities to the migrant returnees.
Gangwar in his statement also informed that the Government has launched the PM SVANidhi Scheme which facilitates Rs.10,000 working capital loan of one-year tenure without any collateral to over 50 lakh street vendors who have lost their businesses due to the pandemic.