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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed a press conference on Monday announcing eight economic relief measures, four of which are new, including one item related specifically to health infrastructure. The FM also announced eight other items related to growth, trade and employment, in which six are new.

Here are the main announcements from Nirmala Sitharaman’s press conference:


Loan guarantee scheme for Covid-affected sectors

  • Rs 1.1 lakh crore of loan guarantee scheme for Covid-affected sectors announced
  • Health sector will get Rs 50,000 crore aimed at upscaling medical infra, specially targeting underserved areas
  • The guarantee cover is for expansion of new projects under health, in areas other than 8 metro cities
  • Guarantee coverage is of 50% for expansion and 75% for new projects
  • Guarantee duration will be up to 3 years
  • Interest rate has been capped at 7.95%; normal interest rate without guarantee cover is 10-11%
  • Other sectors will get Rs 60,000 crore with interest rate capped at 8.25% p.a.; more decisions to be taken later based on evolving needs

ECLGS

  • Additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore for Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme
  • ECLGS 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 resulted in disbursal of Rs 2.69 lakh crore to 1.1 crore units by 12 PSBs, 25 private sectors banks, and 31 NBFCs
  • Contact-intensive sectors coverage will be continued; Rs 4,000 crore given so far
  • Limit of admissible guarantee and loan amount proposed to be increased above the 20% level outstanding

Credit guarantee scheme through MFIs

  • Scheme to facilitate loans to 25 lakh people though micro finance institutions
  • Will be provided to scheduled commercials banks for loans to new and existing NBFCs and MFIs for lending up to Rs 1.25 lakh
  • Interest rate on loans capped at MCLR plus 2%
  • Focus will be on new lending, and not repayment of old loans
  • All borrowers are eligible, even defaulters up to 89 days
  • Scheme cover announced till March 31, 2022 or till guarantees of Rs 7,500 crore are issued
  • Guarantee up to 75% of default amount for up to 3 years through NCGTC; no fee to be charged by NCGTC

Reviving tourism

  • Financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides and travel and tourism stakeholders
  • Under new loan guarantee scheme for Covid-affected sectors, loans will be provided to the tourism sector
  • Loans will be provided with 100% guarantee, up to Rs 10,00,000 for TTS per agency, and Rs 1,00,000 for licensed tourist guides
  • No processing charges or foreclosure charges; no additional collateral

Free tourist Visas

  • Once visa issuance is restarted, first five lakh tourist Visas will be issued free of charge
  • Benefit applies only once per tourist
  • Scheme applicable till 31st March, 2022 or till 5,00,000 Visas are issued
  • Total financial implications of around Rs 100 crore

Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana

  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana extended from 30/06/2021 to 31/03/2022
  • The scheme incentivizes employers to create new employment through EPFO
  • Approved outlay at Rs 22,810 crore for 58.50 lakh estimated beneficiaries with monthly wages less than Rs 15,000
  • Benefit of Rs 902 crore given to 21.21 lakh beneficiaries of 79,577 establishments so far

Fertilizer subsidy

  • Additional subsidy for DAP and P&K fertilizers, as announced earlier
  • NBS Subsidy increased to Rs 42,275 crore in FY 2021-22
  • Existing NBS subsidy was Rs 27,500 crore in FY 2020-21
  • Additional amount of Rs 14,775 crore to be provided, including for DAP and NPK-based complex fertilizers
  • Record procurement seen of 432.48 lakh MT of wheat in Rabi marketing season (RMS)
  • Rs 85,413 crore paid to farmers

PMGKAY extended (as announced earlier)

  • Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana has been extended due to the second wave of Covid-19
  • 5 kg food grain will be freely provided to NFSA beneficiaries from May to November 2021
  • Financial implications of Rs 93,869 crore, taking total cost of PMGKAY to Rs 2,27,841 crore
  • The scheme was launched on 26th March 2020 for a period from April to June; relaunched in May 2021
  • Total cost of PMGKAY in 2020-21 is Rs 1,33,972 crore

Public health

  • Rs 23,220 crore more for public health for one year earmarked
  • New scheme will be focused on short-term emergency preparedness with emphasis on children and paediatric care
  • Plans to increase ICU beds and oxygen supply at central, district and sub-district levels
  • Furthermore, availability of equipment, medicines and access to healthcare services
  • Aims to enhance testing capacity and diagnostics


Growth and employment


Fighting malnutrition and improving farmer incomes

  • The govt will be releasing climate-resilient crop varieties with special traits, as earlier focus was on developing higher yield
  • ICAR has developed bio-fortified crop varieties with higher nutrients to tackle biotic and abiotic stresses
  • 21 such new varieties of rice, peas, millet, maize, soybean, quinoa, buckwheat, winged bean, pigeon pea, and sorghum
  • New varieties tolerant to diseases, pests, drought and flooding, and are amenable to early maturing and mechanical harvesting

Revival of NERAMAC

  • North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC) will be revived to enhance agriculture, procurement, processing and marketing infra in North East India
  • Revival package of Rs 77.45 crore proposed for financial restructuring in NERAMAC
  • 75 farmer-producer organisations registered with NERAMAC; 12 GI crops of North East also registered
  • Plan to give 10-15% higher price to farmers by removing middlemen; roadmap created for capacity building, marketing and technology

NEIA

  • Rs 33,000 crore additional boost for project exports through National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) over five years
  • Plans to promote medium to long term project exports
  • Provides cover to buyer’s credit given by EXIM Bank to less credit-worthy borrowers and project exporters

Export insurance cover

  • Rs 88,000 crore to be infused through equity in Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) over five years
  • Plans to boost export insurance with products that support around 30% of India’s merchandise exports

Digital India

  • Additional Rs 19,041 crore will be provided for BharatNet
  • Total outlay will be Rs 61,109 crore, including already approved amount Rs 42,068 crore in 2017
  • Plans to expand and upgrade cover of BharatNet to all Gram Panchayats and inhabited villages

Electronics manufacturing PLI

  • Extension on tenure of PLI scheme for large scale electronics manufacturing
  • Tenure of the scheme launched in 2020-21 will be extended by one year i.e. till 2025-26
  • Companies will get options for choosing any five years for meeting production targets
  • Investments made in 2020-21 will be counted as eligible investments

Power distribution scheme

  • Rs 3.03 lakh crore announced for reform-based, result-linked power distribution scheme
  • Central share in the total allocation’s is around Rs 97,631 crore
  • State-specific intervention is in place for the scheme
  • States are allowed additional borrowing for four years up to 0.5% of GSDP
  • 25 crore smart meters, 10,000 feeders, 4 lakh km of LT overhead lines already planned
  • The other ongoing works of IPDS, DDUGJY, SAUBHAGYA will be merged

PPP projects and asset monetisation

  • New policy to be formulated for appraisals and approval of PPP proposals and monetization of core infrastructure assets
  • Govt aims to speed up clearance of projects to boost private sector efficiencies in financial construction and infra management
  • The new policy will include InvITs
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Nirmala Sitharaman Announcements today: Expanded ECLGS, tourist visa, Atmanirbhar jobs among FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s new stimulus measures

By ariox