FM Nirmala Sitharaman’s 8 mantras to ‘pep up’ ravaged economy


· FM announces Rs 6.28 lakh crore stimulus package

· First 5 lakh tourist visas to be issued free of charge

· Financial aid to 11,000 registered tourist guides, travel and tourism stakeholders

· Rs 23,220 crore earmarked for healthcare infra

· Rs 1.1 lakh cr loan guarantee scheme for Covid-affected sectors

· Additional ₹ 1.5 lakh cr under the ECLGS

· Govt aims to reach 25 lakh small borrowers under CGS

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced eight new schemes to perk up the economy that has been in doldrums due to the pandemic. The FM has put a special focus on the health and tourism sector.

The measures include a ₹ 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for the Covid-affected and an additional ₹ 1.5 lakh crore under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) that was launched as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat package last year. The announcements come at a time, when India is still struggling to come out of devastating Covid-19 second wave.

The schemes entail enhancement of existing relief measures such as ECGLS and support for state governments. Besides, a total of four new measures were announced to provide loans to micro finance credit users as well as the tourism industry.

While addressing a press conference, Sitharaman said, "Under the Credit Guarantee Scheme we aim to reach out to 25 lakh people who are absolutely small borrowers. Loan to be given to the smallest borrowers by Microfinance Institutions. A maximum Rs 1.25 lakhs amount to be lent." "The interest rate under the new Credit Guarantee Scheme is 2 per cent below RBI prescribed rate, with a loan duration of 3 years," the Union Finance Minister stated.

Further, FM announced a Rs 50,000 crore guaranteed loan for creation of medical infrastructure. The FM said that the ECLGS scheme will be enhanced by Rs 1.5 lakh crore. She said that the first 5 lakh tourist visas will be issued free of charge. This step will be taken once the visa issuance starts.

Apart from these the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana has been extended till March 31, 2022 entailing government nearing PF liability of employees and employers depending on the size of the organisation.

Sitharaman said, "We are announcing about eight economic relief measures, of which four are absolutely new and one is specific to health infrastructure. For Covid-affected areas, Rs 1.1 lakh crores credit guarantee scheme and Rs 50,000 crores for health sector." Apart from these, an additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) has been announced. This is additional to the Rs 3 lakh crore announced under the scheme last year.

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Free Press Journal