Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanaddressed the media to announce the fifth and the final tranche of the stimulus package worth Rs 20 lakh crore declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. In the last 4 days, the finance minister has announced a series of initiatives taken by the government to ease the path ahead as country reels from the coronavirus pandemic.
Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference: Highlights
- The overall stimulus package under the Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) Bharat amounts to Rs 20,97,053 crores: Nirmala Sitharaman
- The stimulus provided in the fourth & fifths tranches of the economic package amounts to Rs 48,100 crores: Nirmala Sitharaman
- States have so far borrowed only 14 per cent of the limit which is authorised to them. 86 per cent of the limit remains unutilised. Centre has decided to increase borrowing limits of states from 3 per cent to 5 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2020-21: Nirmala Sitharaman
- The states have seen a sharp decline in the revenue, we have consistently extended help to the states. Revenue Deficit Grants to states of Rs 12,390 crores was given on time in April&May despite Centre’s stressed resources; devolution of taxes of Rs 46,038 in April given fully: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Pvt companies which list non-convertible debentures on stock exchanges not to be regarded as listed firms: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Debts due to COVID19 will not be included in the category of ‘default’: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Decriminalisation of Companies Act defaults;7 compoundable offences altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework. The amendment will de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Now, Indian public companies can list their securities directly in foreign jurisdictions. Private companies which list Non-Convertible Debentures on stock exchanges will not be regarded as listed companies: Nirmala Sitharaman
- For MSMEs, a special insolvency framework will be notified. Minimum threshold raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore: Nirmala Sitharaman
- There are no fresh insolvency procedures. The same will continue for the next year: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Differently-abled children to also get similar facility: Nirmala Sitharaman
- One Class – One Channel – From classes 1st to 12th: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Public Health Labs to be set up at block levels, FM Sitharaman makes the big announcement
- Investments at the grassroots level will be ramped up: Nirmala Sitharaman
- In times of a pandemic, we need to be ATMANIRBHAR. Therefore attention will be paid at constructing hospitals at a local level: Nirmala Sitharaman
- The Education-related steps
- 1. Online education has been ramped up in a big way.
- 2. 12 more channels will be added for the education of children.
- 3. Children adapt very quickly to technology. We must involve it in their education.
- 4. Channels will enable live interactive sessions.
- 5. 200 new textbooks are being added to e-pathshala.
- The health-related steps
- 1.Insurance cover worth Rs 50 lakh per person.
- 2. Protection of health care workers required an amendment in an old act. All such amendments are being made.
- 3. This challenge gave us to show to the world that we can ramp up production of goods.
- 4. We have already supplied 51 lakh of PPE kits.
- Companies can do AGMs, rights issue through a digital medium: Sitharaman
- The first step is on MNREGA, second on health, third is on businesses and COVID, fourth is of de-criminalisation of Companies Act, fifth is education, sixth is the ease of doing business and the seventh is public sector enterprises: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Today I have 7 steps to tell you: Nirmala Sitharaman
- When it was realised that the migrants were walking all the way back to their homes, trains were allowed. The cost of this travel 85% of it was worn by the Central govt: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Pulses were given 3 months in advance. I appreciate concerted efforts of Food Corporation of India, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India&states, giving pulses& grains in huge quantities, despite logistical challenges: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Jan Dhan account holding women under the PM Garib Kalyan were credited to 20 crore in people’s account: Nirmala Sitharaman
- The PM Garib Kalyan has used the technology available and has been able to do a direct transfer of cash: Nirmala Sitharaman
- The measures taken by the state governments to provide grain to people have been commendable. It was a challenge: Nirmala Sitharaman
- In the last 4 days of announcements, we have had several reforms. Today, we will be continuing with that series: Nirmala Sitharaman
- Nirmala Sitharaman begins with quoting PM Modi from his ‘Atmanirbhar’ speech from Tuesday.
“We have made several announcements and introduced many measures. We also made sure people don’t have to struggle to file taxes and have given boost to the MSMEs,” the finance minister said. “The government will introduce competition, transparency, and private sector participation in the Coal sector through revenue sharing mechanism instead of the regime of fixed rupee per tonne,” Sitharaman said on commercial mining in the coal sector.
In all, Sitharaman announced structural reforms in 8 sectors
- Defence Production
- Airspace Management
- Power Distribution Companies
- Space Sectors
- Atomic Energy
Here are the highlights of the 20 Lakh Crore Economic Package so far
- FDI in defence manufacturing to be hiked to 74 per cent from 49 per cent under automatic route
- Govt to notify a list of weapons/platforms banned for imports, such items can only be purchased from India
- To promote indigenisation of imported spares, focus on lowering defence import bill
- Separate budget provisioning for domestic capital procurement
- Faster decision making in defence procurement
- Govt to corporatise Ordnance Factory Board
- Restrictions on utilisation of the Indian air space to be eased for increasing efficiency of passenger aircraft, to cut fuel usage and time
- To rake in Rs 1,000 crore per year benefit for the aviation sector
- 6 more airports to be privatised
- India to become a global hub for Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), tax rates rationalised
Coal and mineral:
- To introduce commercial mining in coal sector
- Entry norms to be liberalized, nearly 50 blocks to be offered immediately
- Coal Gasification / Liquefication to be incentivised through rebate in revenue share
- Rs 50,000 crore earmarked for infrastructure development in coal sector
- Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction rights to be auctioned from Coal India’s mines
- To introduce seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production
- regime in minerals sector, 500 mining blocks to be auctioned
- Introduce joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks
- To rationalise stamp duty payable at the time of award of mining leases
- To bring out reform in tariff policy, privatise Discoms in Union Territories
- Govt’s share in viability gap funding for development of social infrastructure, including hospitals, hiked to 30 per cent from 20 per cent, total outlay Rs 8,100 crore
- To allow private sector companies in satellites, launches and space-based services
- Private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities
- To set up a research reactor in PPP mode for the production of medical isotopes to help make available affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases
- Establish facilities in PPP mode to use irradiation technology for food preservation – to complement agricultural reforms and assist farmers.
- Sitharaman said that a central law will be formulated to provide ample choice to farmers to sell crops at attaractive price. The law will also enable barrier-free interstate trade and framework for e-trading of agricultural produce.
- Limit on storage of Onions, pulses, potatoes will be removed.
- “Essential Commodities Act needs amendment,” says Nirmala Sitharaman.
- Rs 5 hundred crore allotted for bee-keeping industry. It is estimated that more than 2 lakh beekeepers will benefit from this.
- Rs 4 thousand crore have been allotted to encourage herbal, medicinal plant farming. Aim to bring 10 lakh hectares of land under herbal farming in 2 years.
- 15 thousand crore have been allotted for improving animal husbandry infrastruture development.
- Rs 20 thousand crore have been allotted for Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana to promote fishery and fish farming. The government estimates that 70 lakh tons of surplus production of fish. 55 lakh people get employment. 9000 crore will be spent to improve fishery and fish farming infrastructure.
- “Cluster approach is necessary to better produce and market local crops”
- Government announces 1 lakh crore to improve agri-infrastructure. This will help primary agricultural co-operative societies, FPOs. This will improve farm-gate infrastructure. Storage facilities and cold chains will benefit.
- “I will announce 11 measures today. 8 of them will pertain to infrastructure while 3 will be about governance and administrative reforms,” said Sitharaman.
- Rs 30,000 crores additional emergency working capital funding through NABARD; 3 crore farmers to benefit.
- Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers through Kisan Credit Cards.
- To create job opportunities for tribals /adivasis -plans worth Rs 6000 crores to be approved shortly under Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA) Funds.
- NABARD to extend additional re-finance support of Rs 30,000 crores for crop loan requirement of Rural Co-op banks and RRBs.
- Government to extend the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for middle income group (annual income Rs 6-18 lakhs) up to March 2021; 2.5 lakh middle income families to benefit during 2020-21.
- Government to support nearly 50 lakh street vendors with Rs 5000 crore Special Credit Facility.
- Government of India will provide interest subvention of 2% for prompt MUDRA-Shishu Loans payees for a period of 12 months; Relief of Rs 1500 crores to MUDRA-Shishu loan payees.
- Govt to launch a scheme for affordable rental housing for migrant workers/urban poor to provide ease of living by converting govt funded housing in cities into Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) under PPP mode through concessionaire.
- One Nation One Ration Card will be implemented- 67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states covering 83% of PDS population will be covered by national portability by August 2020.
- Free food grains supply to all migrants for the next 2 months. For non-card holders, they shall be given 5kg wheat/rice per person & 1 kg chana per family/month for 2 months. 8 crore migrants will benefit- Rs 3500 crores to be spent on this.
- 12,000 self-help groups (SHGs) have produced more than 3 crore masks and 1.2 lakh litres of sanitizers during #COVID19 period. 7,200 new SHGs for urban poor have been formed during the last two months.
- We have already generated 14.62 crore person-days of work till 13th May, which is 40-50% more persons enrolled as compared to last May. Migrant workers going back to their states being actively enrolled.
- Govt has permitted state govts to utilise SDRF for setting up shelter for migrants&providing them food&water etc…We are conscious, we are attending to the migrants and giving them in various different ways.
- Interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive on crop loans due from 1st March has been extended to 31st May
- TDS/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, the 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 contractor.
- 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 is 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 a 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.