Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released the tranche 4 of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 11. In the third tranche of the COVID-19 economic package, the government Friday announced a slew of measures for the agriculture sector, amending the stringent Essential Commodities Act (ECA) to remove cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato from its purview.
The Prime Minister pegged the overall package at Rs 20 lakh crore or 10 per cent of India’s GDP to tackle the burgeoning economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.
Earlier, the announcements by the Finance Minister focused on migrant labour, small and marginal farmers and urban poor. She had announced measures for the distressed migrant workers while unveiling the details of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package to help the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
Here Are The Key Highlights
1. Policy reforms to fast-track investment in a bid to attain 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'. Project Development Cell in each Ministry to prepare investible projects, coordinate with investors and Central/State Governments
Ranking of States on Investment Attractiveness to compete for new investments
2. Incentive schemes for Promotion of New Champion Sectors will be launched in sectors such as Solar PV manufacturing, advanced cell battery storage.
3. Eight sectors in focus- Coal, Minerals, Defence Production, Airspace management, MROs, Power distribution companies, Space sectors, Atomic energy.
4. Government to allow private sector participation in coal sector via a revenue-sharing mechanism instead of regime of fixed rupee/tonne. So now, any party can bid for a coal block and sell it in market.
5. The government will offer 500 mining blocks via an open and transparent auction process. Simultaneously introducing a joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks to enhance the aluminum industry's competitiveness.
6. 'Make in India' for self-reliance in defence production, FM emphasises. The government will notify a list of weapons/platforms for a ban on import with year-wise timelines.
7. The Defence FDI through automatic route has been hiked to 74% from 49%.
8. Restrictions on utilisation of Indian air space to be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient. This will bring a total benefit of Rs 1,000 crore a year, FM added.
9. Six more airports will be put up for auction under a PPE model. Annual revenue from this in the first round could come up to Rs 1,000 crore/year with an additional downpayment of Rs 2,300 crore for the Airports Authority of India.
10. The government will boost private sector investment in Social Infrastructure through revamped Viability Gap
Funding Scheme of Rs 8100 crores.
11. Privatisation of distribution in Union Territories -sub-optimal performance of power distribution and supply will be privatised.
12. Technology Development cum Incubation Centres will be set up for fostering synergy between research facilities and tech entrepreneurs, to boost the nuclear sector.