Former finance minister P Chidambaram has said the government allocated Rs 1,000 crore from the PM-CARES Trust but one should not think the money would go into the hands of migrants.
He said the funds will go to states to bear the cost of migrant workers' expenses like travel, accommodation, medicine and food while they were being transported back to home states.
Raising the question of migrant workers' livelihood, Chidambaram said those reaching their villages would have no jobs and no work. "How will he (a migrant) survive and support his family?" he said.
Let’s take a migrant worker who has crossed all hurdles and returned to his village. There are no jobs in the village. He has no work and no income. How will he survive and support his family?— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 14, 2020
On the first tranche of the Modi government's mega stimulus package, Chidambaram said there was nothing in it for poor, hungry and devastated migrant workers who had walked - and many thousands are still walking - back to their home states. "This is cruel blow dealt with those who toiled every day," he said.
He said though the FM announced some support measures for MSMEs, these were skewed in favour of the larger MSMEs. "I think the bulk of the 6.3 crore MSMEs were left high and dry," he said.
He also slammed the government for including liquidity measures in the fiscal stimulus package. "Such measures do not amount to fiscal measures of support and nowhere in the world are they included or counted in a fiscal stimulus package," he said.
He said the government must spend more but it didn't want to, and the Centre must borrow more but it's not willing to do so. He said the Centre was also not even allowing states to borrow more and spend more.
PM CARES Fund Trust, set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has allocated Rs 3,100 crore for fight against coronavirus, of which Rs 1,000 crore will be allocated to migrant workers, while Rs 2,000 crore has been earmarked for the purchase of ventilators.
Established on March 27, 2020, PM CARES (Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust is headed by Prime Minister. Other members of the trust are Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister.