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Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: Govt to Open All Public Sectors to Pvt Players, Announces FM | May 17, 2020, 14:10 IST
Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is outlining the final tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to jumpstart the economy in the face of coronavirus. In her fourth address yesterday, Sitharaman announced “structural reforms” in the sectors of coal, minerals defence production, airspace management, MROs power distribution companies, space sectors, atomic energy.

In a major boost to 'Make in India' in defence sector, Sitharaman yesterday said FDI limit in defence manufacturing will be hiked to 74 per cent from 49 per cent while some weapons and platforms will be banned for imports. The Centre said it will rationalise stamp duty in mining sector, eliminate the difference between captive and non-captive mines, introduce seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime and auction 500 mining blocks.
May 17, 2020 14:10 (IST)

As Migrant Workers Head Home, Govt Allocates Rs 40,000 Crore More to MGNREGA to Provide Jobs

Public expenditure on health will be increased, Sitharaman said, adding that investments in grassroot health institutions to be ramped up.

May 17, 2020 14:03 (IST)

RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh Objects to 4th Tranche of Economic Package | Earlier, RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh objected to the fourth tranche of the economic package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday and said the government is moving in the "wrong direction" and has "dearth of ideas". Responding to the announcements, the BMS had said corporatisation and public private partnership (PPP) are routes to privatisation and "foreignisation".

May 17, 2020 13:45 (IST)

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari hails Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcements. “I welcome @nsitharaman Ji for announcing special insolvency to support MSME sector,” he wrote on Twitter.

May 17, 2020 13:25 (IST)

Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Highlights: Debts of Firms Due to Covid-19 Won't be Considered 'Defaults'; Rs 40,000Cr More Spending on MNREGA

Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Highlights: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the fifth and final tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package to help the economy tide over…

May 17, 2020 13:10 (IST)

FM Nirmala Sitharaman's Press Conferece Ends | The Finance Ministry's press conference announcing the fifth and final tranche of the stimulus package ends.

May 17, 2020 13:09 (IST)

On the question about labourers having to bear the cost of train tickets, the FM said she was not aware where this information is coming from. She had said earlier that 85% of the cost of tickets is being borne by the Centre and the remaining 15% by the states.

May 17, 2020 12:55 (IST)

FM Nirmala Sitharaman Slams Opposition | “I want to tell the Opposition party that on the issue of migrants we all must work together. We are working with all states on this issue. With folded hands, I ask Sonia Gandhi ji that we must speak and deal with our migrants more responsibly,”  FM Sitharaman says.

May 17, 2020 12:39 (IST)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman provides tranche-wise break up of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reboot the economy in wake of the coronavirus. Here's the break-up:

Earlier measures: Rs 1,92,000 crore

Tranche 1: Rs 5,94,550 crore

Tranche 2: Rs 3,10,000 crore

Tranche 3: Rs 1,50,000 crore

Tranche 4+5: Rs 48,100 crore

RBI measures: Rs 8,01,603 crore

Total: 20,97,053 crore

May 17, 2020 12:34 (IST)

Stimulus from earlier measures/revenue lost due to tax concessions: Rs 7,800 crore. Gareeb Kalyan package is Rs 1,70,000 crore and PM's health sector announcements is Rs 15,000 crore. The total comes to Rs 1,92,000 crore, announces FM Sitharaman. 

May 17, 2020 12:26 (IST)

FM Sitharaman says a specific scheme will be notified by the Department of Expenditures along the following pattern:

- Unconditional increase of 0.50 per cent

- One  per cent in 4 tranches of 0.25 per cent with each tranche linked to clearly specified, measurable and feasible reform actions

- Further, 0.50 per cent of milestones are achieved in at least three out of four reform areas

May 17, 2020 12:22 (IST)

Part of the borrowing will be linked to specific reforms, says FM Sitharaman. Reform linkage will be in four areas: 'One Nation One Ration Card', 'Ease of Doing Business', power bistribution and urban local body revenues.

May 17, 2020 12:21 (IST)

“The states have seen a sharp decline in the revenue, we have consistently extended help to the states. Revenue Deficit Grants to states of Rs 12,390 crores was given on time in April and May despite Centre's stressed resources; devolution of taxes of Rs 46,038 in April given fully,” FM Sitharaman says.

May 17, 2020 12:15 (IST)

States have so far borrowed only 14 per cent of the limit authorised, 86 per cent of the authorised borrowing remains unutilised, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 

May 17, 2020 12:07 (IST)

FM Announces New Public Sector Enterprise Policy: All sectors are open to the private sector while public sector enterprises will play an important role in defined areas. Accordingly, the government will announce a new policy whereby:

- List of strategic sectors requiring the presence of PSEs in public interest will be notified
- In strategic sectors, at-least one enterprises will remain in the public sector but the private sector will also be allowed
- In other sectors, PSEs will be privatised 
- To minimize wasteful administrative costs, the number of enterprises in strategic sectors will be between one to four, others will be privatised or merged or brought under holding companies. 

May 17, 2020 12:01 (IST)

FM Announces Measures for Ease of Doing Business for Corporates

- This will help companies to directly list their securities in foreign jurisdiction

- Private companies which list non-convertible debentures (NCDs) on stock exchange not to be regarded as listed companies

May 17, 2020 12:00 (IST)

FM Announces Decriminalization of Companies Act Defaults
- Decriminalization of companies act defaults involving minor technical and procedural violations
- Majority of the compoundable offences sections to be shifted to internal adjudication mechanism and powers of RD for compounding enhanced 
- The Amendments will de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT
- Seven compoundable offences altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework

May 17, 2020 11:58 (IST)

Debts due to Covid-19 will not be included in the category of 'default', says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 

May 17, 2020 11:56 (IST)

Ease of Doing Business | “Further enhancement of ease of doing business through IBC related measures,” says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

- The minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings raised to Rs 1 crore

- Special insolvency framework for MSMEs will be notified under Section 240A of the code

- Suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year depending upon the pandemic situation

- Empowering Central govt to exclude Covid-19 related debt from the definition of default under the code

May 17, 2020 11:53 (IST)

Tech-driven Education with Equity Post Covid-19, Says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

- PM eVidya: A program for multi-mode access to digital education to be launched immediately, consisting of:

- One earmarked TV channel per class from class 1 to class 12

- DIKSHA for school education in states and union territories, e-content and QR coded textbooks for all grades

- Extensive use of radio, community radio and podcasts

- Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30 May, 2020

- Manodarpan: An initiative for psychological support of students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional well being to be launched immediately

May 17, 2020 11:50 (IST)

Top 100 Universities to Start Online Courses by May 30 | "Extensive use of podcasts and radio. Special e-content for visually and hearing-impaired students. Top 100 universities will be allowed to start online courses by May 30," FM says. 

May 17, 2020 11:46 (IST)

FM Sitharaman announces a slew of health reforms and initiatives:

- Public expenditure on health will be increased

- Investments in the grassroots levels will be ramped up in urban and rural areas

- All districts will have infectious diseases hospital blocks

- Integrated public health labs in all districts and blocks

- Encouraging research by National institutional platform for one health by ICMR

- National digital health mission will be implemented

May 17, 2020 11:42 (IST)

Rs 40,000 crores increase in allocation for MGNREGA | FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces Rs 40,000 crores increase in allocation for MGNREGA to provide employment boost.

- Will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total

- Address need for more work including returning migrant workers in monsoon as well

May 17, 2020 11:39 (IST)

“20 crore Jan Dhan account holding women got Rs 10,025 crores. 2.2 crore building and construction workers got Rs 3,950 crores. 6.81 crore people got free LPG cylinders and12 lakh EPFO holders got online withdrawal of advance,” says FM Nirmala Sitharaman.

May 17, 2020 11:38 (IST)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sithharaman says, “The government has taken a number of health-related steps for COVID19 containment- Rs 15000 crore announced for states, essential items and testing labs and kits along with rolling out of tele-consultation services, launch of Arogya Setu app and protection to health care workers with adequate PPEs.”

May 17, 2020 11:38 (IST)

200 new Textbooks Being Added to E-pathshala | "Online education is being taken up in a big way..... Another 12 channels will be added. It will be a great help to students in rural areas. Children love technology and adapt quickly. 200 new textbooks being added to E-pathshala," the finance minister said. 

May 17, 2020 11:35 (IST)

"Health-related steps that have been undertaken - Rs 15,000 crore was released by the PM, insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs per person for health professionals was announced, made sure telemedicine comes into play, capacity building exercises have been taken up, for protection of health care workers, amendment of Epidemic Diseases Act was required which was undertaken,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

May 17, 2020 11:32 (IST)

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 the Central government, FM Nirmala Sitharaman said during the press conference.

May 17, 2020 11:27 (IST)

"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 three months in advance. I appreciate the concerted efforts of FCI, NAFED and states, giving pulses and grains in huge quantities, despite logistical challenges," FM Sitharaman said. 

May 17, 2020 11:24 (IST)

Seven Steps to be Announced Today | "Today, like the four days earlier, we attempt to make sure that environment is all right for the businesses to resume", Finance Minister said. Today's steps will focus on these seven areas: 


- Health and Education 

- Businesses and Covid

 -Decriminalisation of Company’s Act 

- Ease of doing business

- Public Sector Enterprises and related matters

- State governments and resources related to state governments. 


May 17, 2020 11:19 (IST)

“Immediately after the lockdown was announced, we acted quickly with Garib Kalyan Yojana to reach out to those who needed food,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says. “In the last four days of announcements, we have had several reforms addressing the land, labour, liquidity and laws. Today's announcements will be continuing that series,” she added.

Nirmala Sitharaman Press Conference LIVE Updates: Govt to Open All Public Sectors to Pvt Players, Announces FM
File photo of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The introduction of a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime will bring many more mineral blocks into auction. The blocks having potential for mineral production will be auctioned for composite licence wherein the successful bidder will complete the exploration and start production seamlessly, the government said.

In his address to the nation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had introduced massive new financial incentives on top of the previously announced packages for a combined stimulus of Rs 20 lakh crore to boost the economy hit by coronavirus lockdown.