Amid COVID, Rs 50,000 Cr Relief for Health Sector: FM Sitharaman
The minister also announced a sum of Rs 23,220 crore for public health, especially paediatric care.
As India slowly recovers from the second wave of COVID-19, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, 28 June, addressed a press conference and announced economic relief measures for the severely impacted health sector in the country.
As per the finance minister’s announcement, out of a Rs 1.1 lakh crore credit guarantee scheme, Rs 50,000 crore will be aimed at the health sector – to be utilised for the purpose of enhancing medical infrastructure in cities other than the metropolitan cities.
Additionally, a sum of Rs 23,220 crore will be designated for the purpose of public health in the current fiscal, with an emphasis on preparation for short term emergencies and a focus on paediatric care.
The funds will also be used for human resource augmentation to rope in medical students, nurses as well as to increase ICU beds and oxygen supply at central, district, and sub-district levels.
Relief Measures Worth 6,28,993 Cr Announced
The FM announced eight economic relief measures amounting to Rs 6,28,993 crore on Monday, out of which four are new and one is specific to health infrastructure.
Monetary aid was also offered with regard to growth, trade, and employment.
Schemes for scaling of existing relief measure such as the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECGLS) and support for state governments were also revealed, along with four new measures focused on providing loans to micro finance credit users as well as tourism industry.
The ECLGS scheme will be enhanced by Rs 1.5 lakh crore, the FM stated.
Sitharaman added that the first 5 lakh tourist visas will be issued free of charge, in a step that will be taken once the visa issuance start.
The Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, too, has been extended till 31 March 2022 and monetary aid for the National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) worth Rs 33,000 crore has been assigned for project exports from India.
Additionally, Rs 88,000 crore will be spent on merchandise exports for ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India) and funds worth Rs 19,041 crore have been offered for Digital India scheme.
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