Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman on Sunday announced that the Centre has decided to accede to the request by States for special increase in borrowing amid ongoing coronavirus crisis. The borrowing limit of States has been raised from 3 per cent to 5 per cent only for FY21, Sitharaman said. The decision to increase the limit is expected to give the States extra resources worth Rs 4.28 lakh crore, she added. The net borrowing ceiling for States for FY21 stood at Rs 6.41 lakh crore on account of 3 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). So far, the States have borrowed only 14 per cent of the authorised limit and 86 per cent of the borrowing remains unutilised, Sitharaman said.
The government has released over Rs 4,113 crore to states. Insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs per person has been announced for healthcare workers, she added.
"Rs 15,000 crore have been announced for states, essential items, testing labs and kits, along with rolling out of teleconsultation services, the launch of Aarogya Setu app and protection to health care workers with adequate PPEs," Sitharaman said.
The Finance Minister, in her fourth presser on Saturday, had announced structural reforms in sectors such as coal, minerals, civil aviation, power distribution, defence production, space, and atomic energy sector.
Meanwhile,India reported 4,987 fresh coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the highest 1-day spike, with 120 deaths in a day as the country gears to enter its fourth phase of lockdown. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is likely to announce the guidelines of lockdown 4.0 on Sunday.