MGNREGA, eVIDYA, Relief to States: Last Tranche of FM’s Package
Sitharaman has been announcing a slew of measures for various sectors since Wednesday.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday, 17 May, announced the last tranche of the economic package under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with several relief measures for rural employment, education, business and healthcare sectors.
Sitharaman announced the allocation of an additional fund for the MGNREGA employment scheme, new insolvency measures and technological reforms in the education sector.
Here are the key announcements made by Sitharaman
- Government to allocate an additional Rs 40,000 crore to MGNREGA to provide an employment boost
- Technology-driven education to be the focus. PM eVIDYa programme for multi-mode access to digital/online education to be launched immediately. Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30 May 2020
- Government to suspend fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year; decides to exclude COVID-19-related debt from the definition of “default” under IBC.
- Centre decided to increase borrowing limits of states from 3 percent to 5 percent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2020-21
- Health expenditure will be increased and investment at the grassroots level will be ramped up for health and wellness centres, with a particular focus on aspirational districts. All districts will have an infectious diseases block in hospitals. Public health labs will be set up at block levels
- Decriminalisation of Companies Act default – 7 compoundable offences altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under an alternative framework. The amendment is expected to de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT
- Indian public companies can list their securities directly in foreign jurisdictions. Private companies which list Non Convertible Debentures on stock exchanges will not be regarded as listed companies
- Government to announce a new public sector policy- a list of strategic sectors requiring presence of PSEs in public interest will be notified. In strategic sectors,at least 1 enterprise to remain in public sector but private sector to be allowed. In other sectors, PSEs to privatised
Break-up of Rs 20 Lakh Crore
Sitharaman also gave the final break-up of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package as follows:
- A stimulus of Rs 1,92,800 crore was given before the PM spoke of the new economic package
- Break-up of the first tranche of announcements amounted to Rs 5,94,550 crore
- The stimulus provided in the second tranche of the economic package amounted to Rs 3,10,000 crore
- A stimulus of Rs 1,50,000 crore was announced in the third tranche
- The stimulus provided in the fourth and fifth tranches of the economic package amounted to Rs 48,100 crore
- The overall stimulus package under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: Rs 20,97,053 crore
Highlighting the steps taken by the Modi government amid the pandemic, Sitharaman said that 20 crore Jan Dhan account-holding women got Rs 10,025 crore, 2.2 crore building and construction workers got Rs 3,950 crore, 6.81 crore people got free LPG cylinders and 12 lakh EPFO holders got online withdrawal of advance.
“Pulses were given three months in advance. I appreciate concerted efforts of Food Corporation of India, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India and states, giving pulses and grains in huge quantities, despite logistical challenges,” she said.
“Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package used technology to do direct benefit transfer to people. We could do what we did because of the initiatives taken during the last few years,” she said.
“One-time transfer of Rs 2,000 has reached 8.19 crore farmers, total amount Rs 16,394 crore. NSAP beneficiaries got Rs 1,405 crore in first installment and Rs 1,402 crore in second installment, target of Rs 3,000 crore nearly achieved,” Sitharaman said.
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