FM Sitharaman’s announces relief package worth Rs 6,28,993 crore against COVID-19

Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a slew of measures, to provide relief to people and businesses affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister announced a total of 17 measures worth Rs. 6,28,993 crore.

These 17 measures have further been grouped into 3 broad categories:

  1. Economic Relief from Pandemic (8)
  2. Strengthening Public Health (1)
  3. Impetus for Growth & Employment (8)

Economic Relief from Pandemic:

  1. Rs 1.10 lakh crore Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID Affected sectors:
  • This includes Rs 50,000 crore for the health sector and Rs 60,000 crore for other sectors, including tourism.

2. Additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore for Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS)

3. Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro Finance Institutions (New scheme):

  • Amount per loan capped at Rs 1.25 lakh at an interest rate of MCLR (the minimum lending rate for a bank) plus 2 per cent.

4. Scheme for Tourists guides/ stakeholders:

  • The scheme will cover 10,700 Regional Level Tourist Guides recognised by the Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Guides recognised by the State Governments; and about 1,000 Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) recognized by the Ministry of Tourism.
  • TTS’s will be eligible to get a loan up to Rs. 10 lakh each while tourist guides can avail of loan up to Rs 1 lakh each.

5. Free one-month tourist visa to 5 lakh tourists:

  • The total amount sanctioned for the scheme is Rs 100 crore.
  • The facility will be applicable till 31st March 2022 or till 5 lakh visas are issued, whichever is earlier.

6. Extension of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana (ANBRY):

  • The date of registration under the scheme has been extended from 30 June 2021 to 31 March 2022.

7. Additional Subsidy for DAP & P&K fertilizers:

  • Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) increased to Rs 42,275 crore in FY 2021-22

8. Free food grains under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) to be provided from May to November 2021:

  • The estimated financial implications of the scheme will Rs 93,869 crore

Strengthening Public Health:

  1. Rs. 23,220 crores in 2021-22, for public health with emphasis on children and paediatric care/paediatric beds

The impetus for Growth & Employment:

  1. Release of Climate Resilient Special Traits Varieties;
  2. Revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC);
  3. Rs 33,000 crore additional boost for project exports through National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) over five years;
  4. Rs 88,000 crore to be infused through equity in Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) over five years to Export Insurance Cover;
  5. Digital India: Rs. 19,041 crore for Broadband to each Village through BharatNet PPP Model;
  6. Extension of Tenure of PLI Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing
    • Tenure of the scheme launched in 2020-21 (for five years) will be extended by one year till 2025-26;
  7. Rs 3.03 lakh crore for Reform-Based Result-Linked Power Distribution Scheme;
  8. A new streamlined process for PPP Projects and Asset Monetization
    • New policy to be formulated for appraisals and approval of PPP proposals and monetization of core infrastructure assets.