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Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference Live Updates: ESA Act amended; farmers to get better prices for produce

Check out live updates on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's speech on economic package; on the third day of announcements, the FM is likely to come out with stimulus for ailing travel, tourism and aviation sectors

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | May 15, 2020 | Updated 17:02 IST
Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference Live Updates: ESA Act amended; farmers to get better prices for produce
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

The FM could announce the third economic relief package for the ailing travel, tourism and aviation sectors. All these three sectors have been badly hit since the coronavirus pandemic-hit loackdown was imposed in India. Travel and tourism, restaurants and aviation sectors companies have been practically shut for around two months now and today's announcements could allay their fears. Some common demands of these sectors are tax holiday, GST (goods and services tax) holiday and payment of salaries to the employees by the government.

Check out all the latest updates on Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presser on BusinessToday.In live blog

Also read: Coronavirus live updates: Indian Army HQ in Delhi sealed after soldier tests positive; COVID-19 cases-81,970

4.58 pm: Agriculture marketing reforms to provide marketing choices to farmers

Government to bring in law to implement agriculture marketing reforms to provide marketing choices to farmers; law will provide adequate choices to farmer to sell produce at attractive price, says FM Sitharaman.

4.53 pm: Government will amend Essential Commodities Act to enable better price realisation for farmers; Agriculture food stuffs including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato will be deregulated, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

4.49 pm: Essential Commodities Act (ESA) to be amended

Potatoes onions, cereals, oils to be deregulated. ESA amended to ensure that export demand dont get affected, says FM Sitharaman.

4.47 pm: Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

In a major announcement, Government extends Operation Greens from Tomatoes, Onion and Potatoes (TOP) to all fruits and vegetables. FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces Additional Rs 500 crore for supply of all fruits and vegetables.

4.43 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman live speech

2 lakh beekeepers to benefit from Rs 500 crore crore funding, says FM Sitharaman.

4.40 pm: Rs 4,000 crore funds for herbal cultivation

To promote herbal cultivation in India Government commits Rs 4000 crore; move aims to cover 10 lakh hectare under herbal cultivation in 2 years; corridor of medicinal plants to come up across banks of Ganga, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

4.36 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces Speical animal disease control programme

100% vaccination for Rs 53 crore live stock. Rs 13,300 crore outlay for vaccination of 53 crore livestock such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population in India, says FM Sitharaman.

4.34 pm: Rs 20,000 crore for Fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY)

Government to launch Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries to plug critical gaps in fisheries value chain; move will provide employment to over 55 lakh persons & double exports to Rs 1 lakh crore, announced FM Sitharaman.

4.31 pm: Atma Nirbhar Bharat: Rs 10,000 crore scheme for formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFE)

Aiming to implement PM's vision of 'Vocal for Local with Global outreach', a scheme will be launched to help 2 lakh Micro Food Enterprises; Improved health and safety standards, integration with retail markets and improved incomes to be key focus areas, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

4.28 pm: Agriculture gets push

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says, "In a move to strenghten infrastructure in agriculture, financing facility of Rs. 1 lakh crore will be provided for funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregation points."

4.23 pm: Rs 1 lakh crore for strengtheing farm gate infrastructure: FM Sitharaman

4.20 pm: Govt's Rs 20 lakh crore mega booster

To help Fisheries sector, operations of Marine Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture has been relaxed to cover Inland Fisheries, says Finance Nirmala Sitharaman.

4.17 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman live speech

Funds transfer worth Rs 18,700 crores has been done under PM KISAN in past 2 months and PM Fasal Bima Yojana claims worth Rs 6,400 crores released in past 2 months: FM Sitharaman.

4.13 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speech

Rs 18,700 crore cash transfers to farmers during lockdown, says FM Sitharaman.

4.11 pm: 11 relief measuers announced in support of agri, and allied services

4.08 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces relief measures for Agriculture and allied activties

4.05 pm: FM Nirmala Sitharaman speech begins

Finance Minister begins media briefing on 3rd tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package.

3.52 PM: Aviation sector's demands

  • Emergency relief followed by a thorough revival package to bring the sector back on its feet
  • Six-month moratorium on working capital loans taken by the airlines
  • Cash infusion to support part-payment of salaries for 6 months Moratorium on outstanding payments like airport charges, aviation turbine fuel, GST 
  • Bring ATF under GST framework
  • Open credit lines from banks to support the sector's revival
  • Direct cash injection in form of grants if lockdown is extended

3.47 PM: Restaurant industry's demands

  • Unemployment pay cover to all employees (covered under the ESIC Act) in full till lockdown and 50 per cent post that till March 2021; can be a mix of cash and free food grains
  • Extending moratorium on retail loans by employees to help them with cash flows.
  • Complete waiver of all license fees and minimum rent for utilities for six months
  • Postpone renewals of licences, permits and registrations
  • Restoration of input tax credit on GST. This is long-standing demand of the industry

3.40 PM: Travel and tourism industry's demands

  • 3-6 months additional moratorium (on top of RBI's three months moratorium) on all working capital
  • Short term, interest-free loans for rebuilding business and immediate transmission to hotels, tour operators, travel agents (online and offline)
  • Deferment of all statutory dues such as GST, advance tax payments, provident fund, ESIC, and customs duties for at least 12 months

3.38 PM: The tourism sector accounts for 10 per cent of the GDP, and gives employment to 3.8 crore people directly and indirectly.

3.35 PM: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will address a press conference on Aatma Nirbhar Bharat at 4 PM.

3.30 PM: "We have made about 30 demands in our presentations. Though we haven't heard anything from the government, we have kept our fingers crossed," Akshay Kumar, Vice-Chairman of industry body FAITH (Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality), say.

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