FM Nirmala Sitharaman
FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of relief to various sectors. In a press conference that began at 3 PM, Sitharaman started off by stating that she will announce eight relief measures; of which four will be new. One item will be specific to health infrastructure, while eight other items, will be pertaining to growth in general and exports, she said.

Loan guarantee scheme for healthcare

Sitharaman announced Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for COVID-affected sectors. "Of this, Rs 50,000 crore cover will be for healthcare sector for scaling up medical infrastructure. "

The Minister said Rs 50,000 crore health sector guarantee coverage will be for non-metros medical infrastructure. And Rs 60,000 crore will be given in addition for other sectors.

A guarantee cover of 50 percent was announced for expansion and 75 percent for new projects related to health/medical infra in cities other than 8 metropolitan cities.

The maximum loan amount for health sector will be Rs 100 crore, with a maximum interest rate cap is 7.95 percent. For other sectors, interest rate is capped at 8.25 percent. Coverage will be changed based on evolving needs, Sitharaman said.

Loan guarantee for Scheduled Commercial Banks

The government said guarantee will be provided to Scheduled Commercial Banks for loans to new or existing NBFC-MFIs on lending up to Rs 1.25 lakh to approximately 25 lakh small borrowers. Interest rate on loans from banks have been capped at MCLR plus 2 percent.

Credit guarantee scheme to MFIs

The finance minister announced a credit guarantee scheme to facilitate loans to 25 lakh persons through microfinance institutions. Under this interest rate on loans from banks to be capped at MCLR plus 2 percent. The maximum loan tenure will be three years with maximum loans of Rs 1.25 lakh.

National Credit Guarantee Trust

Sitharaman announced a guarantee up to 75 percent of default amount for up to three years through National credit guarantee trust (NCGTC). No guarantee fee will be charged, the FM said.

Guarantee cover for funding provided by MLIs to MFIs/NBFC-MFIs till March 30, 2022 or till guarantees for an amount of Rs 7,500 cr are issued, whichever is earlier.

Tourism gets relief

The Finance Minister announced financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides, travel and tourism stakeholders. Tourism stakeholders will get a loan guarantee of up to Rs 10,00,000 and tourist guides to get loan guarantees of up to Rs 1,00,000. The scheme will cover 10,700 regional level tourist guides recognised by Ministry of Tourism and tourist guides recognised by state goverment.

Under new loan Guarantee scheme for COVID-affected sectors, working capital/personal loans will be provided to people in tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart business impacted due to COVID-19. Loans will be provided with 100% guarantee, up to following limits; Rs 10 lakh for TTS, Rs 1 lakh for tourist guides licensed at regional or state level. There will be no processing charges, waiver of prepayment charges, the minister said.

Free tourist visa

The first 5 lakh tourist visas to India will be free of cost, once visa issuance resumes. Total financial implication of the measure to the government will be Rs 100 crore, Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojna to be extended

The finance minister announced the extension of Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojna till March 31, 2022. She announced benefits worth Rs 902 crore provided under the scheme, benefitting more than 21.42 lakh beneficiaries.

An additional amount of Rs 14,775 crore will be provided for DAP and P&K fertilizers. Theamount will include Rs 9,125 crore additional subsidy for DAP and Rs 5,650 crore additional subsidy for NPK based complex fertilisers.

Procurement of wheat

Record procurement of 432.48 lakh crore MT of wheat in rabi marketing season so far against 389.92 lakh MT done in the previous financial year.

PMGKAY extended till November

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) has been extended by the government till November 2021. In the previous fiscal year the scheme cost the government Rs 1.33 lakh crore, this year it will cost the government Rs 93,869 crore.

Healthcare outlay for children

The government announced Rs 23,220 crore additional amount to be spent on this financial year to increase ICU beds, oxygen supply at central and district levels. The new scheme focused on short term emergency preparedness with special emphasis on children and pediatric care /paediatric beds.

The government had last year provided Rs 15,000 crore funds through emergency health systems project, leading to 25 fold increase in COVID-dedicated hospitals.

Farmers' income to be given a boost

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed bio-fortified crop varieties having high nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, vitamin-A. 21 such varieties of rice, peas, millet, maize, soybean, buckwheat, winged bean will be dedicated to the nation, said Finance Minister.

Revival of NERAMC

The government plans to revive North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMC). The institutional will be provided Rs 77.45 crore for financial restructuring and infusion of funds. The NERAMC has 75 farmer producer organisations have registered 13 GI crops from the North East region.

NEIA support

It is proposed to provide additional corpus to National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) over 5 years to allow it to underwrite additional Rs 33,000 crore of project exports. The NEIA has supported 211 projects of Rs 52,860 crore in 52 countries by 63 different Indian project exports till March 31, 2021.

Export guarantee insurance cover

The government has proposed to infuse of Rs 88,000 crore in Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) over 5 years to boost insurance cover. Products support around 30% of India's merchandise exports.

Broadband for every village

The government has proposed an outlay of Rs 19,041 crore to provide broadband to each village. Out of 2.5 lakh gram panchayats, 1,56 lakh now have broadband connectivity. The government will provide Rs 19,041 crore for BharatNet for the implementation of the BharatNet PPP model. The total outlay will be Rs 61,109 crore including the already approved amount.

PLI scheme extended

The government has extended the tenure of Production Linked Incentive (PLII) Scheme for large scale electronics manufacturing. Tenure of the scheme launched in 2020-21 will be extended by one year till 2025-26.

Incentives were applicable from August 1, 2020 with the base year of 2019-2020. However, the pandemic disrupted operations for firms. participating companies will get the option of choosing any five years.

Reforms for power sector

Reform based result linked power distribution scheme gets Rs 3.03 lakh crore. 25 crore smart meters, 10,000 feeders, 4 lakh km of LT overhead lines planned.

Today's press conference comes after the Ministry of Finance announced a three-month extension of its Rs 3 lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), last month on May 30.

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