Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s on Wednesday shared the details of the Rs. 20 Lakh crore economic relief package- equivalent to 10 per cent of India’s GDP — announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to soften and to support the economy badly hit by the 50-day lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus. Sitharaman’s press conference comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced USD 265 billion fiscal stimulus to deal with COVID-19 situation in the country. The package is the second largest in Asia after Japan.

The focus on the economic package is to save jobs in the MSME sector and help it to get back on track; the labour-intensive sectors like textile and food processing industries; services sector that have been badly hit by COVID-19 and assistance for the poor.

Nirmala Sitharaman press conference: Top announcements 

  • DS/TCS rates to be reduced by 25% till March 31, 2021
  • Ministry of Housing to advise States/UTs &their Regulatory Authorities to extend registration&completion date suo-moto by 6mnts for all registered projects expiring on or after 25Mar,2020 without individual applications.Treat COVID-19 as an event of ‘Force Majeure’ under RERA.
  • In a major relief to contractors, all Central agencies to provide an extension of up to 6 months, without cost to contractor, to obligations like completion of work covering construction and goods and services contracts.
  • RS 90,000 crore liquidity injection for Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMs).
  • Government launches a Rs 30,000 crore Special Liquidity Scheme for non-banking financial companies, microfinance companies, housing finance companies.
  • The government announces Rs 45,000 crore liquidity infusion through a Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for NBFCs.
  • In order to provide more take home salary for employees and to give relief to employers in payment of PF, EPF contribution is being reduced for businesses & workers for 3 months, amounting to liquidity support of Rs 6,750 crores.
  • To ease financial stress as businesses get back to work, Government decides to continue EPF support for business & workers for 3 more months providing a liquidity relief of Rs 2,500 crores.
  • Govt of India and Central Public Sector Enterprises will honour every MSME receivable in the next 45 days.
  • Global tenders to be disallowed in Government procurement up to Rs 200 crores. This will make self-reliant India, will also then be able to serve ‘Make in India’.
  • FM to announce about 15 different measures today- 6 of them for MSMEs, 2 for Employee provident funds, 2 for NBFCs, 2 for MFIs, 1 for discoms, 1 to real estate, 3 tax related measures, 1 contractors.
  • Definition of MSMEs has been revised, investment limit to be revised upwards, additional criteria of turnover also being introduced.
  • Rs 50,000 cr. equity infusion for MSMEs through Fund of Funds; to be operated through a Mother Fund and few daughter funds; this will help to expand MSME size as well as capacity.
  • Government to provide stressed MSMEs with equity support; Government will facilitate the provision of Rs. 20,000 Crores as subordinate debt. This will enable 45 lakh MSME units to resume business activity and also safeguard jobs.
  • In a major initiative, we announce Rs 3 lakh crores collateral-free automatic loans for businesses, including SMEs. Borrowers with up Rs 25Cr outstanding and Rs100 Cr turnover are eligible.
  • Collateral free automatic loans to MSMEs worth Rs. 3 Lakh Crore. These have 4 year tenor, valid up to October 31st, 2020.
  • We shall not forget that we do have a responsibility towards the poor, needy, the migrants workers, divyang and the aged of the country.
  • Beginning today, over the next few days we will come before you (media) with team to put forth PM’s vision.
  • Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) India does not mean India is to be an isolationist country.
  • Five pillars of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat- economy, infrastructure, system, demography and demand.
  • Essentially this is to spurt growth and to build a very self reliant India and that is why this whole initiative is called Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • PM laid out a comprehensive vision, and that vision was laid out after wide consultations with several sections of the society.

Timelines under RERA to be extended: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Measures for real estate

  1. The urban development ministry to issue advisory to states and UTs so that regulators consider the Covid-19 period an ‘act of god’
  2. They will be able to extend all registered projects by up to 6 months
  3. Using the force majeure clause suo motu they can extend registrations and completion dates if these were falling after March 25, 2020
  4. Timelines under RERA to be extended

Tax-related measures

  1. From tomorrow, till March 31, 2021, TDS and TCS rates reduced by 25%
  2. This will release Rs 50,000 cr in the hands of people

In a televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening, The Prime Minister had announced the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat package that will focus on making India self-reliant.

The package includes Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s assistance and a Rs 1.74 lakh crore fund announced earlier, days after the country went into lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus.during his national address on Tuesday.

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