Indian History

Rural Development-Budget

The rural sector in India witnessed the phenomenon of reverse migration during the period of complete lockdown, with migrants availing all possible means of transport or even walking back kilometers to reach homes. But the eventual return of these migrants back to metropolitan cities would materialize only with the normalization of COVID-19 related stringencies. Despite such adversities, the resilience of the rural economy in tackling the COVID -19 related crisis was supported by a good crop season and stimulus packages of the Government.

The first of measures announced under the PMGKP in March, 2020 included cash transfers of upto ` 1000 in two installments of ` 500 each to the existing old aged, widowed and disabled beneficiaries under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP). An amount of 2814.50 crore was released to 2.82 crore NSAP beneficiaries. An amount of 500 each was transferred for three months digitally into bank accounts of the women beneficiaries in PM Jan Dhan Yojana, totaling about 20.64 crores. Free distribution of gas cylinders to about 8 crore families for three months was also undertaken. Limit of collateral free lending for 63 lakh women SHGs increased from ` 10 lakhs to ` 20 lakhs which would support 6.85 crore households.

In the second tranche of stimulus measures announced under ANB Abhiyan, an additional 40,000 crore was allocated for Mahatma Gandhi NREGS to help generate nearly 300 crore person-days to address the need for more work for the returning migrant workers as well as to take care of the monsoon season. A total of 311.92 crore person-days have been generated and a total of 65.09 lakh individual beneficiary works and 3.28 lakh water conversation related works have been completed in the current financial year as on 21st January 2021. Wages under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA was increased by 20 from 182 to 202 w.e.f. 1st April, 2020, which would provide an additional amount of ` 2000 annually to a worker.