Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: Centre Hikes FDI Limits for Defence Equipment from 49% to 74%, FM Announces Auction of 6 Airports - News18
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Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: Centre Hikes FDI Limits for Defence Equipment from 49% to 74%, FM Announces Auction of 6 Airports

News18.com | May 16, 2020, 8:47 PM IST
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Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced easing of restrictions on utilisation of Indian air space, benefiting civil aviation sector by about Rs 1,000 crore per year. Announcing the fourth tranche of economic stimulus, she said only 60 per cent of Indian airspace is freely available. More air space available would reduce travel time and save on fuel, she said.

The finance minister said six more airports will be auctioned for private participation. Also, an additional investment of Rs 13,000 crore will be made by private players in 12 airports auctioned in first and second rounds. She also said tax regime for aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) has been rationalised. Aircraft component repair and airframe maintenance are expected to increase from Rs 800 crore to Rs 2,000 crores in three years, she added.
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May 16, 2020 8:47 pm (IST)

Boosting Private Sector Investment in Social Infrastructure

May 16, 2020 7:44 pm (IST)

Privatisation of Power Distribution in UTs

May 16, 2020 7:28 pm (IST)

Tariff Policy Reforms

May 16, 2020 7:14 pm (IST)

India to Become a Global Hub for Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO)

May 16, 2020 6:55 pm (IST)

More World-class Airports through PPP

May 16, 2020 6:46 pm (IST)

Reduction in Flying Cost

May 16, 2020 6:29 pm (IST)

FDI Limit in Defence Manufacturing Under Automatic Route to be Raised from 49% to 74%

May 16, 2020 6:21 pm (IST)

Enhancing Self-reliance in Defence Production

May 16, 2020 6:03 pm (IST)

Policy Reforms in Mineral Sector

May 16, 2020 5:56 pm (IST)

Enhancing Private Investments in Mineral Sector

May 16, 2020 5:50 pm (IST)

Liberalised Regime in Coal Sector

May 16, 2020 5:45 pm (IST)

Investment of Rs 50,000 Crore

May 16, 2020 5:41 pm (IST)

Introduction of Commercial Mining in Coal Sector

May 16, 2020 5:39 pm (IST)

Introduction of Commercial Mining of Coal

May 16, 2020 5:21 pm (IST)

The Finance Ministry's press conference to announce the fourth tranche of the stimulus package ends.

May 16, 2020 5:20 pm (IST)

Atomic Energy Related Reforms

- Establish research reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes
- Establish facilities in PPP mode to use irradiation technology for food preservation to compliment agricultural reforms and assist farmers
- Link India's robust startup ecosystem to nuclear sector- technology development cum incubation centres will be setup for fostering synergy between research facilities and tech entrepreneurs

May 16, 2020 5:09 pm (IST)

Boosting Private Participation in Space Activities:

- Future projects for planetary exploration, outer space travel etc to be opened for private sector
- Liberal geo-spacial data policy for providing remote-sensing data to tech entrepreneurs
- Private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities
- Will provide predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players

May 16, 2020 5:06 pm (IST)

"Boosting private sector investment in social infrastructure projects through revamped viability gap funding scheme of Rs 8,100 crore. The govt will enhance the quantum of viability gap funding up to 30 per cent each of total project cost as VGF by Centre and state," says FM.

May 16, 2020 5:00 pm (IST)

Power Distribution Companies in UTs to be Privatised | "Power distribution companies in Union Territories will be privatised. Consumer rights, promotion of industries and sustainability of sector will be the major salient points of the new tariff policy," says FM

May 16, 2020 4:58 pm (IST)

Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO): 
- India has the capacity - manpower and skills, it can be a hub for many flights heading to South-East Asia and westwards.
- Tax regime for MRO ecosystem has been rationalised
- Convergence between defence sector and the civil MROs will be established to create economies of scale
- Maintenance costs for airlines will come down

May 16, 2020 4:54 pm (IST)

Civil Aviation - reduction in flying cost Rs 1000 crore 

- Efficient airspace management for civil aviation
- Only 60 per cent of the Indian airspace is freely available
- Restrictions on utilisation of the India airspace will be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient
- AAI has awarded 3 airports out of 6 for operation and maintenance on PPP basis
- 6 more airports identified in second round bid to commence immediately

May 16, 2020 4:42 pm (IST)

Enhancing Self-reliance in Defence Production
- Notify a list of weapons/platforms for ban on import with year wise timeline
- Indigenisation of imported spares
- Separate budget provisioning for domestic capital procurement
- Will help reduce huge defence import bill
- Improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies by corporatisation of ordnance factory board
- FDI limit raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent
- Time-bound defence procurement process and faster decision making will be ushered in

May 16, 2020 4:33 pm (IST)

"We will introduce joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks to enhance aluminium industry's competitiveness. Remove distinction between captive and non-captive mines to allow transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals, leading to better efficiency in mining and production," says FM.

May 16, 2020 4:31 pm (IST)

Enhancing Private Investments in Mineral Sector | "The sectoral reform we want to bring in here to give boost to the sector is to now have a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime. 500 mining blocks will be offered through an open and transparent auction process," says FM.

May 16, 2020 4:28 pm (IST)

Investment of Rs 50,000 Crore | "India has the third largest valued coal availability in its untapped mines, and yet we still import coal and emerging sectors suffer because raw material is not available. Regulations are required when there is a shortage. But this country has abundant coal. Coal bed methane will also be auctioned. Rs 50,000 crore for evacuation infrastructure is being provided," says FM.

May 16, 2020 4:24 pm (IST)

"Govt monopoly in coal mining being removed. This will be done based on a revenue-sharing mechanism instead of regime of fixed rupee per tonne. Any party can bid for a coal block and sell in the open market," says FM.

May 16, 2020 4:22 pm (IST)

Commercial Mining of Coal | We are bringing in commercial mining of coal on a revenue sharing basis, says FM.

May 16, 2020 4:21 pm (IST)
 

8 Sectors That Will Undergo Structural Reforms: 
- Coal
- Minerals
- Defence production
- Airspace managements, airports
- MRO
- Power distribution companies in UTs
- Space
- Atomic energy

May 16, 2020 4:19 pm (IST)

"Attempts have already started for upgradation of industrial infrastructure. Need to talk about this afresh. Industrial land banks, clusters been identified long back. Now using tech, we are ensuring these land parcels are identified," says FM. 

May 16, 2020 4:16 pm (IST)

The finance minister lists policy reforms initiated in the last couple of months to fast-track investments. Policy reforms to fast track investments. Fast track clearance through Empowered Group of Secretaries being done. Project Development Cell in each Ministry to prepare investable projects, coordinate with investors and Central and state governments.

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Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: Centre Hikes FDI Limits for Defence Equipment from 49% to 74%, FM Announces Auction of 6 Airports
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces the fourth tranche of the government's economic package.

Addressing the nation fourth time on Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today allowed commercial mining of coal — a government monopoly till now.

The announcements are part of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan launched by PM Modi on Tuesday as India gears up to fight the pandemic which has infected close to 86,000 people, higher than the figures of China where the virus emerged.

Tourism and transportation are likely to be key areas in focus today as releases tranche 4 of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the third tranche of the COVID-19 economic package, the government on Friday announced a slew of measures for agriculture sector, including a Rs 1.63 lakh crore outlay, and amending the stringent Essential Commodities Act (ECA) to remove cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato from its purview.

Also, a new law will be framed to give farmers the option to choose the market where they want to sell their produce by removing inter-state trade barriers and providing e-trading of agriculture produce. The ECA empowers the government to regulate price as well as stocks of commodities. Sitharaman also announced a Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund that will finance projects at farm-gate and aggregation point for efficient post-harvest management of crops.

The announcements are part of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan launched by PM Modi on Tuesday as India gears up to fight the pandemic which has infected close to 86,000 people, higher than the figures of China where the virus emerged.

The PM, in his fourth televised address on the Covid-19 situation, had said the economic package will empower all sections of the society, from the often neglected labourer and hawker, to employment generating industries and the honest tax-paying middle-class, and will also help India compete on the global stage.

Pushing for local products and self-reliance, Modi said that it has been local suppliers have met 'our demands' during this crisis and now Indians will have to be 'vocal about local' and buy products from them.

Spelling out the details of the self-reliance strategy, Modi it will depend on five pillars: growing a new economy, creating a state-of-the-art infrastructure, setting up a technology-based delivery system, leveraging the young demography and exploiting of domestic demand.

The new package comes as India further opens up its economy with riders in the fourth phase of the national lockdown starting on May 18, with fewer restrictions. Industries and states have been demanding a fiscal stimulus package from the Centre to soften the impact of the financial crunch arising due to covid-19 outbreak.

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