Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday announced the fifth and final tranche of the Rs 20,000 lakh crore economic package given under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan initiative. Sitharaman said that in the last four days of announcements, the government has had several reforms addressing the land, labour, liquidity, and laws, and added that the last tranche of announcements will be a continuation to that.
As reported by The Indian Express earlier, the package also includes additional liquidity injected into the system by the Reserve Bank of India through various measures in February, March and April and the Rs 1.7 lakh crore fiscal package announced on March 27.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Wednesday announced the first tranche of an economic relief plan whose primary focus was to alleviate the sweeping distress in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector that lies at the heart of the industrial ecosystem and employs an estimated 11 crore persons, including much of the country’s migrant workforce.
While the 16 specific announcements announced in the first tranche cut across sectors that range from MSME and Non Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to real estate and power distribution and the salaried, the overarching theme was that of infusing liquidity. And engineering a pass-through effect that ultimately puts more disposable funds in the hands of both entrepreneurs and employees.
Sitharaman’s announcement followed up on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Tuesday of a Rs 20-lakh-crore plan, almost 10 per cent of the GDP, to cushion the impact of Covid-19 and to be unveiled in a staggered manner.
Unveiling the second tranche of the economic stimulus package as part of ‘Self-reliant India Mission’ to cushion the impact of Covid-19, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday announced three measures for the distressed migrant workers.
Firstly, migrant workers, who are neither National Food Security Act (NFSA) or State Card beneficiaries in the state they are stationed, will be provided 5 kg of grains per person and 1 kg Chana per family per month free for two months, the Finance Minister said.
Sitharaman also announced the ‘One Nation One Ration card’ scheme under which migrants will be enabled to access Public Distribution System from any Fair Price Shop in the country by March 2021. This is part of the PM’s Technology-Driven System Reforms.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday announced 11 measures for the agriculture sector as part of the third trench of the government’s Rs 20 lakh crore Covid-19 relief package. However, most of these measures are either in place already or the government has been discussing these for several years.
Out of the 11 announcements, three concern governance and administrative reforms, including amendment of the Essential Commodities Act (ECA), 1955, and agriculture marketing reforms through a Central law. These have been part of successive Union Budgets under the Modi government.
Sitharaman also announced the setting up of a Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund; the formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises, with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore; a vaccination drive against food and mouth disease among cattle; extension of the Operation Greens from tomatoes, onion and potatoes to all fruits and vegetables; help for fishermen through the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana; a Rs 15,000-crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund; Rs 4,000 crore for promotion of herbal cultivation; and a Rs 500 crore scheme to promote beekeeping.
Most of the measures for eight sectors announced Saturday under the fourth tranche of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Covid economic package were either a new push to old reforms proposals or an aggregation of earlier decisions.
The latter includes: commercial coal mining; coal gasification projects; building a hub for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); privatisation of airports, and optimisation of Indian airspace.
The renewed push for commercial mining is a proposal over two years old. A way to auction coal mines/blocks for sale of coal under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, it was approved by the government in early 2018 and an order was issued on February 27, 2018. Subsequently, the Coal Ministry said it had identified “15 large coal blocks” for the pilot round of bidding in December that year.
Nirmala Sitharaman, the union finance minister, unveiled the fifth and last tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore COVID-19 economic package as part of the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-reliant India campaign)” on Sunday.
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Addressing her fifth press conference in as many days, the minister began her speech by quoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the reporters, She said, “In order to prove the resolve of the self-reliant India, land, labour, liquidity and laws, all have been emphasised in this package,” and added that, “We have announced several reforms in this regard and shall continue with the same today.”