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FM Sitharaman makes big announcements to boost the Covid hit economy: Highlights

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
FM Sitharaman makes big announcements to boost the Covid hit economy: Highlights

New Delhi: In an effort to bring on track the limping economy which has been hit by the second wave of coronavirus, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced several stimulus measures. Ms Sitharaman is addressing a press conference today.

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The Ministry of Finance, in a tweet, informed that the press briefing will start at 3 pm.

As per reports a high-level panel, headed by the cabinet secretary, recently held a meeting to thrash out various regulatory and administrative issues on bank privatisation.

Here are the top announcements made by the Finance Ministry in today’s press briefing:

-Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, launched last year, extended till March 31, 2022.

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-Additional ₹ 14,775 crore nutrient-based subsidy to be provided to farmers.

-The government has allocated an additional budget of ₹ 23,220 crore for public health with focus on children.

-New streamlined process for PPP projects and asset monetisation.

-New policy will be formulated for appraisal and approval of PPP projects and monetization of crore infrastructure assets, including through InvITs.

-₹3.03 lakh crore for reform based result linked power distribution scheme, says FM Sitharaman. 25 crore smart meters, 10,000 feeders, 4 lakh km of LT overhead lines planned.

-The govt today announced the extension of the tenure of the PLI scheme for large-scale electronic manufacturing.

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-Under Digital India, an additional ₹19,041 crore for broadband to each village through BharatNet PPP Model, announces FM Sitharaman.

-Centre proposes to infuse equity in ECGC over five years to boost export insurance cover by ₹88,000 crore.

-₹33,000 crore boost for project exports through NEIA (national export insurance account).

-FM announces measures for doubling farming income.

-₹23, 220 crore more sharpy focussing on children and pediatric cares and public health.

-Extension of Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). The scheme was launched initially for the period from April to June 2020. In the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, the scheme was relaunched in May 202 to ensure food security of the poor. 5 kg food grains to be provided till November 2021.

-Estimated financial implication — ₹93,869 crore, bringing the total cost to ₹2,27,841 crore.

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-FM Sitharaman announces additional support for DAP and NPK fertilisers. A subsidy of ₹14,775 crore to be provided for DAP and NPK fertilisers. ₹9,125 crore for DAP and ₹5,650 crore for NPK-based complex fertilisers.

-The Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, announced in 2020 where both the Employee’s and Employer’s share of contribution of EPFO was borne by the govt, will be extended till March 31, 2022, says FM Sitharaman.

-FM also announced financial support to over 11,000 registered tourist guides/travel and tourism stakeholders through the loan guarantee scheme for Covid-affected sectors.

-Free tourist visa to 5 lakh tourists. The benefit will be available only once per tourist. The scheme will be available till March 31, 2022 or till five lakh visas are issued, whichever is earlier.

-FM Sitharaman today extended relief measures to revive the tourism sector. Financial support of 11,000 registered tourist guides or travel and tourism stakeholders.

-Working capital/personal loans to be extended to people in the tourism sector to discharge liabilities or restart business

-The FM said that the New Credit Guarantee Scheme announced will facilitate loans to 25 lakh persons through Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs); the guarantee will be provided to Scheduled Commercial Banks for loans to new or existing NBFC-MFIs or MFIs for on lending upto ₹ 1.25 lakh to approximately 25 lakh small borrowers; the interest rate to be capped at 2 per cent, maximum loan tenure 3 years, as prescribed by RBI; Guarantee upto 75 percent of default amount for upto 3 years through National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company.

-The limit of admissible guarantee and loan amount proposed to be increased above existing level by 20 percent of outstanding on each loan. Overall cap of admissible guarantee to be raised from ₹ 3 lakh crore to ₹ 4.5 lakh crore.

-FM Sitharaman also said that sector-wise details will be finalised after assessing the need going forward.

-The loan gurantee scheme also includes ₹50,000 crore for the health sector. ₹60,000 crore in addition for other sectors.

-₹1.5 lakh crore emergency credit line guarantee scheme has been announced under the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme.

-The Finance Minister says that one item will be specific to health infrastructure, while eight other items, will be pertaining to growth in general and exports

-₹1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for Covid-affected sectors have been announced by FM Sitharaman.

-FM Sitharaman says today we will announce some relief measures — 8 measures to be announced, 4 of which are new.

-FM Sitharaman will address the press as the country braces for the third wave of Covid-19. The Finance Minister will likely extend some economic relief measures for the sectors badly hit due to the second wave of Covid-19.

-In her Budget Speech on 1 February, FM Sitharaman had announced that the government proposes to take up the privatisation of two public sector banks (PSBs) and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22.

-The government last year consolidated 10 public sector banks into four and as a result, the total number of PSBs came down to 12 from 27 in March 2017.

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