Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a Rs 6.29-lakh crore stimulus package to revive the economy hit by the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the main highlights of the announcements:
Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee for COVID affected sectors
Under the scheme, Rs 50,000 crore will be allotted to health sector to scale medical infrastructure, specially in under-served areas. It will involve guarantee cover for expansion and new projects related to health and medical infrastructure in cities other than the eight metropolitan cities.
Besides, Rs 60,000 crore will be reserved for other sectors with interest rate capped at 8.25 per cent.
Additional Rs 1.5 lakh cr for ECLGS
An additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore was announced for ECLGS, launched as part of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Package' in May 2020. With the latest announcement, the overall cap of admissible guarantee under the scheme has been raised to Rs 4.5 lakh crore from Rs 3 lakh crore earlier.
Loans to 25 lakh persons via MFIs
Under the scheme, guarantee will be provided to scheduled commercial banks for loans to new or existing NBFC-MFIs or MFIs for on lending up to Rs 1.25 lakh to approximately 25 lakh small borrowers.
Support to 11,000 tourist guides
Capital/personal loans will be provided to people in tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19. The scheme will cover 10,700 regional level tourist guides, recognised by the Ministry of Tourism, and tourist guides recognised by the state governments. Besides, travel and tourism stakeholders will also be covered.
Free tourist visa to 5 lakh tourists
Once visa issuance is restarted, the government will provide first 5 lakh tourists visas free of charge to revive the tourism sector which has been hit hard by the pandemic.
Extension of Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana
The Centre extended the scheme to boost employment till March 31, 2022 from June 30, 2021 earlier. Launched in October last year, the scheme incentivises employers for creation of new employment and restoration of loss of employment through EPFO. Benefit of Rs 902 crore has been provided to 21.42 lakh beneficiaries of 79,577 establishments till June 18 this year.
Additional Rs 23,220 cr for public health
The Centre will spend an additional Rs 23,220 crore for short-term health emergency preparedness for COVID-19 pandemic. The new scheme will have a special focus on children, paediatric care and paediatric beds.
Rs 33,000 cr for NEIA, Rs 88,000 cr for export insurance cover
The government will provide an additional corpus to National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) over 5 years to allow it to underwrite additional Rs 33,000 crore of project exports. It will also infuse equity in Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) over 5 years to boost export insurance cover by Rs 88,000 crore.
Additional Rs 19,041 crore for BharatNet
Sitharaman announced an additional outlay of Rs 19,041 crore for BharatNet to expand and upgrade broadband connectivity to cover all gram panchayats and inhabited villages.
Streamlined process for PPP projects, asset monetisation
The Centre will formulate a new policy for appraisal and approval of public-private partnership (PPP) proposals and monetisation of core infrastructure assets, including through InvITs, to ensure speedy clearance of projects to facilitate private sector's efficiencies in financing construction and management of infrastructure.
Revival of NERMAC
The Centre announced a revival package of Rs 77.45 cr for financial restructuring and infusion of funds to North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERMAC), which aims to enhance agricultural, procurement, processing and marketing infrastructure in North East.
Copyright©2021 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today