COVID-19 pandemic has affected economies across the globe including India. Government has taken several initiatives to address the challenges and threats posed by the pandemic. Government is providing fiscal stimulus of more than Rs. twenty seven lakh crore as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Financial Package (ABFP).
Aatmanirbhar Bharat package comprises various long term schemes/ programmes/ policies for making the country self-reliant and to create employment opportunities.
Prime Minister Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme was launched on June 01, 2020 to provide working capital loan to Street Vendors, vending in urban areas, to resume their businesses, which were hurt adversely due to COVID-19 induced lockdown.
Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), Government of India has contributed both 12% employer’s share and 12% employee’s share under Employees Provident Fund (EPF), totalling 24% of the wage for the wage month from March to August, 2020 for the establishments having upto 100 employees with 90% of such employees earning less than Rs. 15000/-.This has helped in protecting employment in EPFO registered establishments during post Covid period.
Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) has been launched in October, 2020 as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat package 3.0 to incentivize employers for creation of new employment along with social security benefits and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic.
This scheme being implemented through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), seeks to reduce the financial burden of the employers and encourages them to hire more workers. The terminal date for registration of beneficiaries has been extended from 30.06.2021 to 31.03.2022.
Government had launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA) of 125 days on 20th June, 2020 to boost employment and livelihood opportunities for returnee migrant workers and similarly affected persons including youth in rural areas, in 116 selected districts across 6 States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The unemployment benefit under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana being implemented by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has been enhanced to 50% from 25% of the average wage, payable upto 90 days, along with relaxation of eligibility conditions to claim the benefit.
Government is encouraging various projects involving substantial investment and through public expenditure on schemes like :
· Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP),
· Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS),
· Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY),
· Deendayal Antodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), etc
Government has increased MGNREGA wage to Rs. 202 a day from Rs. 182 to benefit nearly 13.62 crore families.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is being implemented by the Government inter alia, for facilitating self-employment.
Under PMMY collateral free loans upto Rs. 10 lakh, are extended to micro/small business enterprises and to individuals to enable them to setup or expand their business activities.
In addition, RBI and Government of India have introduced measures to infuse liquidity in the economy to sustain the market economy and raise the level of employment. Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has implemented the special programme for the fresh skilling (Short Term Training (STT) and upskilling (Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) of the returnee migrant workers impacted by COVID-19 under its flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) to support the Garib Kalyan Roazgar Abhiyan (GKRA).
This special programme has covered 116 districts of 6 state namely Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. MSDE with the support of District Administration has undertaken skill mapping of the returnee migrants and identified the beneficiaries for the training under PMKVY.
The flagship programmes of the Government such as Make in India, Digital India, Smart City Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Housing for All and Industrial corridors and Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme are oriented to generate productive and sustainable employment opportunities.
This information was given by Shri Rameswar Teli, Minister of State, Ministry of Labour & Employment in Rajya Sabha today 16th December 2021.