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From MSMEs to EPF to NBFCs, here’s everything FM Sitharaman announced as booster measures

FM Nirmala Sitharaman India economic package announcement: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Wednesday announced a facility of Rs 3 lakh crores collateral-free automatic loans for business, including micro, small and medium enterprise (MSMEs). 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 13, 2020 9:19:51 pm
From MSMEs to EPF to NBFCs: Here's everything Nirmala Sitharaman announced as booster measures Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman details economic package announced by PM Narendra Modi.

FM Nirmala Sitharaman announcement: Spelling out granular details of the combined Rs 20-lakh crore stimulus package announced last night by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help cushion Covid-19 blow, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Wednesday announced a facility of Rs 3 lakh crores collateral-free automatic loans for business, including micro, small and medium enterprise (MSMEs), among other decisions.

“The move will enable 45 lakh MSME units to resume business activity and also safeguard jobs,” FM Sitharaman said while announcing the first tranche of booster measures along with her deputy MoS Finance Anurag Thakur. Economic package math| It’s 10% of GDP but about half is already factored in

Here are the other key announcements made by FM Sitharaman.

Rs 3 lakh crores collateral-free automatic loans for businesses, including MSMEs

  • Borrowers with up to Rs 25 crore outstanding and Rs 100 crore turnover eligible
  • Loans to have 4-year tenor with a moratorium of 12 months on principal repayment
  • Interest to be capped
  • 100 per cent credit guarantee cover to banks and NBFCs on principal and interest
  • Scheme can be availed till 31st October 2020
  • No guarantee fee, no fresh collateral
  • 45 lakh units can resume business activity and safeguard jobs

Rs 20,000 crores subordinate debt for stressed MSMEs

  • Stressed MSMEs need equity support. Two lakh MSMEs are likely to benefit’
  • Functioning MSMEs which are NPA or are stressed will be eligible
  • Govt will provide a support of Rs 4,000 crore to CGTMSE
  • CGTMSE will provide partial credit guarantee support to banks
  • Promoters of MSMEs will be given debt by banks, which will then by infused by promoter as equity in the unit.

Rs 50,000 cr equity infusion for MSMEs through fund of funds

  • Fund of funds with corpus of Rs 10,000 crores will be set up
  • Will provide equity funding for MSMEs with growth potential and viability
  • FoF will be operated through a Mother Fund and few daughter funds
  • Funds structure will help leverage Rs 50,000 cr of funds at daughter funds level
  • Will help to expand MSME size and as well as capacity
  • Will encourage MSMEs to get listed on main board of Stock Exchanges

New definition of MSMEs

Low threshold in MSME definiton have created a fear among MSMEs of graduating out of the benefits and hence the killing the urge to grow. There has been a long-pending demand for revisions.

  • Definiton of MSMEs will be revised
  • Investment limit will be revised upwards
  • Additional criteria of turnover also being introduced
  • Distinction between manufacturing and service sector to be eliminated
  • Necessary amendments to law will be brought about

Rs 2500 crore EPF support for Business and workers for 3 more months

  • Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, payment of 12% of employer and 12% employee contributions was made into EPF accounts of eligible establishments
  • This was provided earlier for salary months of March, April and May 2020
  • This support will be extended by another 3 months to salary months of June, July and August 2020
  • This will provide liquidity relief of Rs 2500 crore to 3.67 lakh establishments and for 72.22 lakh employees.

EPF contribution reduced for business and workers for 3 months

  • Statutory PF contribution of both employer and employee will be reduced to 10% each from the existing 12% each for all establishments covered by EPFO for the next three months.
  • CPSEs and State PSUs will, however, continue to contribute 12% as employer contribution.
  • This scheme will be applicable for workers who are not eligible for 24% EPF support under PM Garib Kalyan package and its extension

Rs 30,000 crore special liquidity scheme for NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs

  • The government will launch a Rs 30,000 crore special liquidity scheme
  • Under this scheme investment will be made in both primary and secondary market transactions in investment grade debt paper of NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs
  • Will supplement RBI/Government measures to augment liquidity
  • Securities will be fully guaranteed by the government of India
  • This will provide liquidity support for NBFCs/ HCI/MFIs and mutual funds and create confidence in the market

Rs 50,000 crores liquidity through TDS/TCS rate reduction

  • In order to provide more funds at the disposal of the taxpayers, the rates of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) for non-salaried specified payments made to residents and rates of Tax Collection at Source (TCS) for the specified receipts shall be reduced by 25% of the existing rates.
  • Payment for contract, professional fees, interest, rent, dividend, commission, brokerage, etc. shall be eligible for this reduced rate of TDS.
  • This reduction shall be applicable for the remaining part of the FY 2020-21 i.e. from tomorrow to 31st March, 2021.
  • This measure will release Liquidity of Rs. 50,000 crore.

Other Direct Tax Measures

  • All pending refunds to charitable trusts and noncorporate businesses & professions including proprietorship, partnership, LLP and Co-operatives shall be issued immediately.
  •  Due date of all income-tax return for FY 2019-20 will be extended from 31st July, 2020 & 31st October, 2020 to 30th November, 2020 and Tax audit from 30th September, 2020 to 31st October, 2020.
  • Date of assessments getting barred on 30th September, 2020 extended to 31st December, 2020 and those getting barred on 31st March,2021 will be extended to 30th September, 2021.
  • Period of Vivad se Vishwas Scheme for making payment without additional amount will be extended to 31st December, 2020.

Rs 90000 crore liquidity injection for DISCOMs

  • PFC/REC to infuse liquidity of Rs 90,000 cr to DISCOMs against receivables
  • Loans to be given against state guarantee for exclusive purpose of discharging liablities of Discoms to Gencos
  • Digital payments facility by Discoms for consumers, liquidation of outstanding dues of state governments, plan to reduce financial and operational losses.
  • Central Public Sector Generation Companies shall give rebate to Discoms which shall be passed on to the final consumers (industries)

Relief to contractors

  • Extension of up to 6 months (without costs to contractor) to be provided by all central agencies (like Railways, Ministry of Road transport and Highways, Central Public Works dept etc)
  • Covers construction/works and goods and services contracts
  • Covers obligation like completion of work, intermediate milestones etc and extension of concession period in PPP contracts
  • Government agencies to partially release bank guarantees to the extent contracts are partially completed to ease cash flows

Global tenders to be disallowed upto Rs 200 crores

  • Indian MSMEs and other companies have often faced unfair competition from foreign companies. Therefore, global tenders will be disallowed in government procurement tenders upto Rs 200 crores.
  • Necessary amendments of General Financial Rules will be effected.

Extension of registration and completion date of real estate projects under RERA

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will advise States/UTs and their regulatory authorities to the following effect

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  • Treat COVID-19 as an event of ‘Force Majeure’ under RERA
  • Extend the registration and completion data suo-moto by six months for all registered projects expiring on or after March 25, 2020 without individual applications
  • Regulatory authorities may extend this for another period of upto 3 months, if needed
  • Issue fresh ‘Project Registeration Certificates’ automatically with revised timelines
  • Extend timelines for various statuary compliances under RERA concurrently.
  • These measures will de-stress real estate developers and ensure completion of projects so that homebuyers are able to get delivery of their booked houses with new timelines.

PM Modi, during his address to the nation, had said the economic package that is worth 10 per cent of GDP would play an instrumental role in the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Self-reliant India campaign) and position the country for the post Covid-19 world. He had said that announcements made by the government over Covid earlier, decision of RBI, and the now announced package amounts to Rs 20 lakh crore, which would help every section including workers, farmers, middle class and industrial units.

Click here to follow LIVE updates on Nirmala Sitharaman’s presser

PM Modi had said self-reliance would be based on five pillars— an economy that takes quantum jumps, not incremental gains; modern infrastructure; a technology-driven system; vibrant demography; and a demand and supply chain.

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