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Sunday, August 01, 2021

Cabinet approves FM Sitharaman’s Covid-19 stimulus package, Rs 3.03-lakh crore scheme for power discoms

Javadekar said that the export insurance cover of Rs 1.22 lakh crore scheme has been approved by Cabinet. It was further added that a reform-based, result-linked power discom scheme worth Rs 3.03 lakh crore also got the Cabinet's approval.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 30, 2021 4:55:16 pm
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar addressing the media on Cabinet decisions. (Screengrab: Youtube/PIB India)

The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the stimulus package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman two days ago, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

As part of the package to support the pandemic-hit economy, Sitharaman had on Monday announced Rs 1.5 lakh crore of additional credit for small and medium businesses, more funds for the healthcare sector, loans to tourism agencies and guides, and waiver of visa fee for foreign tourists.

The Cabinet also approved the export insurance cover of Rs 1.22 lakh crore scheme and power discom scheme worth Rs 3.03 lakh crore.

Apart from these, the Cabinet also cleared the rollout of the BharatNet project for broadband services across 3.61 lakh villages in 16 states under public-private partnership (PPP) mode with viability gap funding of Rs 19,041 crore, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced.

Scheme approved for power discoms

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a five-year-long reform-based result-linked power distribution scheme worth Rs 3.03 lakh crore on Wednesday. Briefing the media about the decision, Power Minister R K Singh said, “We have done a lot for power distribution reforms. It needs to be strengthened. Today, the Cabinet has approved the new scheme worth Rs 3.03 lakh crore, including Rs 97,000 crore central outlay.”

He said the funds would be given to power distribution companies (discoms) to strengthen their system. The Reform-Based Result-Linked Power Distribution Scheme was announced in Budget earlier this year.

Scheme approved for BharatNet project in 16 states

Cabinet approved PPP mode for the launch of BharatNet project in 3,61,000 villages in 16 states. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the total expense will be Rs 29,430 crore, which includes Rs 19,041 crore to be spent by the centre for the viability gap funding.

He said the decision to involve private players was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on August 15, 2020 that around 6 lakh villages in the country will be connected with broadband in 1,000 days. Prasad said till date, 1.56 lakh out of the 2.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with broadband.

Approval of Covid-19 relief package announced by Finance Minister

The Cabinet also approved the Rs 6.29 lakh crore relief package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to minitage the impact of the second wave of Covid-19 on the economy, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said while briefing the press after the Cabinet meeting.

As part of the package, the finance minister had earlier this week announced Rs 1.5 lakh crore of additional credit for small and medium businesses, more funds for the healthcare sector, loans to tourism agencies and guides, and waiver of visa fee for foreign tourists.

Together with previously announced Rs 93,869 crore spending on providing free foodgrains to the poor till November and additional Rs 14,775 crore fertiliser subsidy, the stimulus package, which is mostly made up of government guarantee to banks and microfinance institutions (MFIs) for loans they extend to Covid-19-hit sectors, totalled up to Rs 6.29 lakh crore.

–With inputs from PTI

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