Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a press conference announced some new relief measures to boost the Indian economy. The second wave of Coronavirus has hit the economy hard, the collapse of infrastructure in the health sector, and the deteriorating change in the tourism sector severely affected the state of the Indian economy.
To build up health infrastructure from a loan guarantee scheme of Rs 1.1 lakh crore, the health and medical sector will get Rs 50,000 crore to increase medical infrastructure, underserved areas are specially targeted. The interest rate to avail of loans has been capped at 7.95%. Other sectors will receive Rs 60,000 crore and at an interest rate of 8.25% annually.
Nirmala Sitharaman announced an additional Rs 15,000 crore for public health. This amount will be used for short-term emergencies and improving pediatric care facilities.
In lieu of reviving the tourism sector, the finance minister allocated a Rs 10 lakh loan to travel agencies and a Rs 1 lakh loan to tourist guides. Giving incentives of tourist visas free to the first 500,000 tourists when the process begins.
To scale up the electronics manufacturing Centre’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme has been extended by one year, till the fiscal year 2025-26.
In order to give relief to MSME, Sitharaman announced the widening of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme. Under this scheme, MSMEs get collateral-free loans. 25 lakh small borrowers can avail of loans at a lower interest rate. This new scheme will give up to Rs 1.25 lakh.
Concentrating on the macroeconomic issues of unemployment in the country, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana will be extended from June 30, 2021, to March 31, 2022. Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana employers create new employment through Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
To scale up International trade the finance minister has announced an export insurance cover of Rs 88,000 crore for merchandise exports and Rs 33,000 crore to project exports. The money would be transferred through Export Credit Guarantee Corporation and National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) trust respectively.
The industry sector demanded more relief measures. The Union government’s move indicates that budgetary support will be reserved for the core sectors. Economists, however, view that there is a need to increase demand in the economy.