New Delhi, May 17, 2020: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is announcing the finer details of the fifth tranche of Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore fiscal stimulus announced by Prime Minister to soften the blow of the coronavirus and the lockdown on the economy. The Finance Minister is likely to announce fund infusion for infrastructure lending. The Finance Minister had on Saturday announced a number of structural reforms on Saturday in the coal, defence and civil aviation sector.
A day earlier, Ms Sitharaman had announced Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund for farm gate infrastructure for farmers and Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFEs) under the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package.
Here are the Highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcements on Day 5:
As a nation, we stand at a very crucial juncture. Such a big disaster is a signal for India, it has brought a message and opportunity.
In order to prove the resolve of an Aatma Nirbhar Desh, land, labour, liquidity and laws have all been emphasised in the special economic package. The crisis and the challenge is an opportunity to build a self reliant India.
We will today be continuing in the series of reforms announced. Soon after lockdown, we came with PM Garib Kalyan Package, we provided food grains to those who needed it, we did not want to scout for money to search for grains.
Pulses too were given 3 months in advance. I appreciate the concerted efforts of FCI, NAFED and states, giving pulses and grains in huge quantities, despite logistical challenges.
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.
One-time transfer of ₹ 2,000 has reached 8.19 crore farmers, total amount ₹ 16,394 crore. NSAP beneficiaries got ₹ 1,405 crore in first installment and ₹ 1,402 crore in 2nd instalment, target of ₹ 3,000 crore nearly achieved.
When lockdown was extended, free grains and dal were given for another 2 months. Shramik special trains were started when it was possible for workers to move, states were requested to bring workers to stations, 85% cost was borne by central government.
This was done because, Jaan Hai To Jahaan Hai. Lives were given priority. In a post-COVID-19 era, livelihoods too have to come into full play. To take care of new considerations, our attempt is to ensure both lives and livelihoods.
We have taken seven measures today - 1) MNREGA, 2) Health - rural and urban, including education, 3) Businesses and #COVID19, 4) Decriminalization of Companies Act, 5) Ease Of Doing Business, 6) Public Sector Enterprises, 7) State governments and related resources.
Various sections of people were given assistance despite the lockdown, because of the reform initiatives which were undertaken by the Government during the last few years