FM Nirmala Sitharaman
FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Under the PM Matsya Sampanda Yojna, a fund of Rs 20,000 crore is allocated for the marine, inland fisheries sector to help building new fishing vessels, harbours and insurance of boats and individuals. This sector provides employment to 55 lakh workers and it is expected to contribute Rs 1 lk cr to India’s exports.

Under the National Animal Disease Program, 100% vaccination for cattle, buffalo, sheep and pigs against foot and mouth disease will be ensured with an outlay of Rs 13,343 crore and a fund of Rs 15,000 crore is allocated for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development.

The package further announced Rs 4,000 crore for promotion of herbal cultivation and Rs 500 crore is allocated for beekeeping initiatives.

In the fourth tranche, more reforms were announced pertaining to the coal, mining, defence and civil aviation sectors. Particularly for the coal sector, the government allowed 100% private participation. Thereby, completely ending the government monopoly. The move is particularly aimed at reducing the coal import bills by improving the quality as well as quantity of coal produced in India. The country has the 3rd largest coal reservoir, yet it still imports coal at higher cost due to the poor quality produced in the domestic market. The government has also provided Rs 50,000 crore to develop coal infrastructure in the country.

The mining sector is also opened up further and 500 mining blocks will now be available for bidding through an open auction process. The removal of distinction between captive and non-captive mines is aimed at simplifying the process of transferring mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals. The FM also informed that the Ministry of Mines is in the process of developing a Mineral index.

To boost the defence sector, the government is looking to promote local manufacturing. A list of defence items is created that can’t be imported further. These items shall be procured only from the domestic manufacturer and this list shall be growing every year. This reform aims at promoting Make in India as well as reducing the import bills for defence.

The FDI limit in defense manufacturing under the automatic route is now revised from 49% to 74%. It will attract foreign defense manufacturers to set up their operations in India with local partnership.

The fourth tranche of the package has also made an attempt for cost cutting and improving efficiency in the civil aviation sector. India’s civil aviation sector is currently able to utilize only 60% of the air space due to the several restrictions. The government is looking to ease this to reduce time in the air; resulting in fuel and time efficiency. The effective implementation of this policy could save about Rs 1,000 crore per year for the airline, resulting in higher realisations per passenger.

Further reforms also envision India to become a global hub for aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO). Tax regime for the MRO ecosystem has been rationalised which will reduce the maintenance cost of the airlines. Government aims to increase this market from Rs 800 crore to Rs 2,000 crore in the next three years. The policy targets major engine manufacturers like Rolls-Royce, P&W and GE to set up their engine repair facilities in India in the coming years.

The government has further expanded its policy of operating and maintaining the airports on public-private partnership basis. A total of 6 airports will soon be up for auction by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to invite private Partnership. AAI has already tested the concept by awarding three aerodromes for operation and maintenance under public private partnership.

Yet another major policy overhaul is related with the entry of private sector companies in satellites, launches, space-based services. The private players will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities which in turn will increase investment in the sector as it reduces the funding pressure on the government.

The agriculture reforms are also complemented further by facilitating irradiation technology for food preservation through PPP and India's robust startup ecosystem will be linked to the nuclear system, technology development and incubation centres. It will foster synergy between research facilities and tech entrepreneurs.

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