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Finance Minister announces relief packages for Covid-affected sectors, chalks out plan to revive tourism sector

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a slew of measures to help sectors struggling due to Chinese coronavirus pandemic

On June 28, Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister, announced relief packages for Covid-affected sectors. The packages include several sectors, including health, tourism, MSME, agriculture, tourism and others.

Reviving tourism

Nirmala Sitharaman announced a special package to revive tourism sectors. Under the scheme, financial support has been extended to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides, travel and tourism stakeholders. The scheme will cover Regional Level Tourist Guides recognised by the Ministry of Tourism, Tourist Guides recognised by the State Governments and Travel and Tourism Stakeholders (TTS) recognised by the Ministry of Tourism.

Tourism revival package (Source: Office of Nirmala Sitharaman)

Free tourist visa to foreign tourists

The government also announced 5 lakh free tourist visas for foreign tourists visiting India till March 31 2022, or till first 5,00,000 visas are issued. The scheme can be availed for one visit to India. A financial implication of Rs.100 crore will be there.

Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID Affected Sectors

Finance Minister announced a Rs 1.1 Lakh Crore Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid affected sectors. Out of the said amount, Rs 50,000 crore have been allotted for the medical sector. The guarantee cover has been expanded to health and medical infrastructure in cities other than eight metropolitan cities. The aim is to improve the medical infrastructure in underserved areas. The government will provide a guarantee cover of 50% for expansion and 75% for new projects.

The guarantee will be proved by National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited. A maximum loan of Rs 100 crore will be available under this scheme. The interest rate has been capped at 7.95%. The remaining Rs.60,000 crore has been allotted for the other sectors. The interest rate in such a case has been capped at 8.25%.

Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme

The minister announced an additional 1.5 lakh crore for the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme that was launched as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package in May 2020. Sitharaman informed that out of 3 lakh crore earmarked last year, 2.69 crores jas already been dispersed to 1.1 crore units via 12 Public Sector Banks, 25 Private Sector Banks, and 31 Non-banking Financial Companies. While the remaining funds are available for dispersion, the government has earmarked another 1.5 lakh crore for the scheme.

Credit Guarantee Scheme through micro-financing institutes

The government announced Credit Guarantee Scheme to Facilitate Loans to 25 Lakh Persons Through Micro Finance Institutions. Under the scheme, the guarantee will be provided to Scheduled Commercial Banks for loans to new or existing NBFC-MFIs or MFIs for on-lending up to Rs 1.25 lakh to approximately 25 lakh small borrowers. The interest rate has been capped at MCLR+2%, and the tenure for the loan is a maximum of three years.

The existing borrowers can also take advantage of the scheme in case the defaulter period is up to 89 days. The government will provide a guarantee scheme for funding till March 31, 2022, or till guarantees for an amount of Rs.7,500 crore are Issued.

Extension of Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana

The government also announced the extension of Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana. Under the scheme, the government will continue to contribute a total of 24% of the wages for establishment strength up to 1000 employees till March 31, 2022.

Additional Subsidy for DAP & P&K fertilisers

As announced earlier, the government has allocated Rs. 9,125 crore additional subsidy for DAP and Rs.5,650 crore additional subsidy for NPK based complex fertiliser. Notably, this year the government procured a record 432.48 Lakh MT of wheat in Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2021-22.

Extension of Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)

The finance minister revisited the recent announcement made by PM Modi about PMGKAY. The scheme has been extended till November 2020. The total cost of the scheme in 2020-21 was Rs. 133,972 crores. Under the scheme, 5 kg of food grains will be provided free of cost to NBA beneficiaries from May to November 2021.

Rs. 23,220 Cr earmarked for pediatric health care

The new scheme announced by the finance minister focuses on short-term emergency preparedness with special emphasis on children and paediatric care/paediatric beds. The amount would be spent in the next one year. It will also include funding for short-term HR augmentation through medical students (interns, residents, final year) and nursing students. The emphasis would be on increasing the availability of ICU beds, oxygen supply at central, district and sub-district level.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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