Industry body ASSOCHAM's President Niranjan Hiranandani said on Thursday, November 12 that the government's continuous support coupled with the new announcements under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Yojana 3.0 will make the road to economic recovery post-COVID-19 pandemic stronger.
Reacting to the 7th major stimulus package after the coronavirus pandemic by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Hiranandani stated that it will further facilitate and incentivise job creation, and provide much relief and impetus to the housing and infrastructure sector. He added that the package is a "good Diwali gift from the government."
FM Sitharaman, on Thursday, announced 12 measures to counter the effects of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on the economy and people. "Strong growth and an increase in demand have propelled the economy on a rebound. The effects of previous announcements Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan 1.0 and 2.0 are clearly evident by the RBI's prediction of a strong likelihood of the economy returning to positive growth in Q3 rather than Q4 earlier by the quarter," he said in the statement.
"The measures announced today are a kind of relief the infra and housing industries were looking forward to. It would certainly push sluggish demand in the housing sector and will also address the issue of unsold inventory in the sector. The announcement will also push the infrastructure sector out of the doldrums. The tax relief will take some pressure off the end-user and also the provider," Hiranandani further added.
"The additional outlay of Rs 18,000 crore for PMAY over and above the budget estimate will help lakhs of Indians in the urban and semi-urban areas to fulfill their dream of a home in such a dire situation," he noted.
Centre has announced tax relief for developers and first-time homebuyers for houses up to Rs 2 crore till June 30, 2021. The differential between the circle rate and agreement value in real estate income tax has been increased to 20 per cent to boost housing sales.
The government is also going to infuse Rs 6,000 crore of equity into the debt platform of the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), which will help NIIF raise Rs 1.1 lakh crore by 2025 to finance infrastructure projects. NIIF will also raise equity from private investors.
"We also welcome the very thoughtful decision of the FM to extend the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for MSMEs, businesses, MUDRA borrowers and individuals (loans for business purposes), till March 31, 2021. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) that has been offered to 10 champion sectors and Credit Guarantee Support Scheme for the healthcare sector and other 26 stressed sectors affected by the pandemic will help revive these industries and ensure their survival," Hiranandani enunciated.
The ASSOCHAM president believes that by providing fertiliser subsidy of Rs 65,000 crore to farmers and Rs 900 crore for the research and development and of the COVID-19 vaccine, the government has once again proved that it does not let go of the focus on the core issues while taking care of the rest of the problem.
"The total stimulus provided by the government and RBI is 15 per cent of the GDP which has been our demand and suggestion right from the beginning," he reiterated. So far, the government has announced Rs. 29.87 lakh crore stimulus packages in 7 instalments since the COVID-19 lockdown.
He further said that the overall sentiment in the country and overseas is positive which will help India draw more investments in the coming future for the better. "The strong economic indicators are there for everyone to witness as Moody's has also decided to reassess India's growth numbers," he added.