Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Tuesday in his address to the nation announced a special economic package equivalent to 10 per cent of India’s GDP, amounting to 20 lakh crore rupees.
Addressing a media briefing in New Delhi, Finance Minister in her announcement of the fifth tranche of measures to address the economic situation in the country amid COVID-19, outlined structural reforms with focus on seven areas of MNREGA, Health and Education, Business during Covid, Decriminalisation of Company Act, Ease of doing business, Policy related to Public Sector Units, State government and resources related to it.
Announcing the relief measures of fifth tranche, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, under the MNREGA scheme, an additional 40 thousand crore rupees will be allocated for employment generation in the rural parts of the country. The minister said this will help to generate nearly 300 crore person days to provide relief to the migrant workers.
On the Health reforms and initiatives taken to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the minister said, public expenditure will be increased and Health and Wellness Centres in rural and urban areas will be ramped up. The Minister said, infectious diseases hospital blocks in all districts and integrated public health labs in all districts and block level will be set up to prepare India for the future pandemic. The mInister said, National Digital Health blueprint will be implemented under the National Digital Health Mission.
Finance Minister said, PM-e-Vidya programme for multi mode access to digital online education will be launched immediately and it will consist of e-content and QR coded textbooks for all grades. The Minister said, one TV channel per class from 1 to 12 will be operated and extensive use of Radio and Community Radio will be made. The Minister said, top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30th May of this month.
Finance Minister said, an initiative by the name of Manodarpan will be launched immediately for psychological support of students, teachers and their family for mental health and emotional well being. Finance Minister said, minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings has been raised to one crore rupees from one lakh to provide relief to the MSMEs. The Ministersaid, special insolvency resolution framework for MSMEs code will be notified and no fresh initiatiation of insolvency proceedings will be done upto next one year.
Speaking over, decriminalization of companies act, she said violation involving minor technical and procedural default will not be accounted which in turn will help to de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT. She said, under the ease of doing reforms, Indian public companies can directly list securities in permissible foreign jurisdiction. Finance Minister said, government will announce new policy related to the Public Sector Enterprises, PSEs. She said, list of strategic sectors requiring presence of PSEs in public interest will be notified. The Minister said, in strategic sector, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed. She said to minimise the wasteful administrative cost, number of enterprises in strategic sectors will be limited to four.
On the support extended to the State Government, Finance Minister said, more than 46 thousand crore rupees have been devolved in April and revenue deficit grants of more than 12 thousand crore in April and May have also been given to the states despite centre’s stressful resources. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted government’s decision to increase the net borrowing ceiling for the states from 3 percent to 5 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product, which would result in increased resources of 4 lakh 28 thousand crore rupees for them.
The Minister said, more than 11 thousand crore rupees have been released as advance from State disaster relief fund in the first week of April and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released another 4 thousand 113 crores rupees for direct anti-covid activities. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address, Finance Minister said, government is working with the targeted approach to provide the benefits to the people belonging to all strata of the society. The Minister said, under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan package, free food grains were provided to 80 crore people and under the PM Kisan Yojana more than 16 thousand crore rupees have been given to the 8.19 crore people through direct benefit transfer.
The Minister said, more than 10 thousand crore rupees were released to 20 crore Jan Dhan account of women and construction workers got 3 thousand 950 crore rupees. She said, 6.81 crore beneficiaries got the cylinder under the Ujjala scheme and 12 lakh EPFO holders withdraw the advance amount. She said, Shramik Special trains were operated for the migrant workers and 85 percent of the cost was borne by the Central Government.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Finance Minister announced a slew of measures to help the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs sector that employs an estimated 11 crore people. The announcements ranged from Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs), real estate, power distribution sector, to relaxations on contribution to Employees’ Provident Fund (EPFO). In her second announcement on Thursday the focus lies on migrant workers, street vendors, small traders, the self-employed and small farmers.
Third announcement saw major relief packages for agriculture and allied activities while yesterday key sectoral reforms were announced in the sector of coal, minerals, defence production, civil aviation, power distribution companies, space sector and atomic energy.