New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Finance stated in a press communication that on 12th May 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a special comprehensive economic package to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in India. He gave a clarion call for ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ or Self-Reliant India Movement. PM Modi also outlined five pillars of AtmaNirbhar Bharat – Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography, and Demand. Following Prime Minister Modi’s call, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the details of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package 1.0 in a series of press conferences from 13th May to 17th May. Subsequently, Finance Minister Sitharaman announced the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package 2.0 on 12th October and the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package 3.0 on 12th November.
The Ministries and Departments concerned immediately started implementing the announcements under the 3 AtmaNirbhar Bharat Packages (ANBP), stated the Finance Ministry, adding that the progress of implementation is being reviewed and monitored regularly, almost on a daily basis.
FM Sitharaman concluded on Friday, 11th December, a comprehensive review of ANBP with the Secretaries of various Ministries & Departments concerned over three days. Key elements of the progress made so far in implementing the ongoing Schemes of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Packages were declared to be as under:
1. Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for businesses, including MSMEs:
Under an Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), as on 4th December, as reported by Public Sector Banks, top 23 Private Sector Banks and 31 NBFCs, additional credit amounting to Rs. 2,05,563 crore has been sanctioned to 80,93,491 borrowers, while an amount of Rs. 1,58,626 crore has been disbursed to 40,49,489 borrowers.
The Scheme was further amended on 26th November 2020 and the duration of the Scheme has been extended till 31st March 2021; also, the turnover limit prescribed therein has been removed. Operational guidelines of ECLGS 2.0 were issued on 26th November 2020, stated the Finance Ministry.
It is expected that 45 lakh units can resume business activity and safeguard jobs through this scheme.
2. Rs. 45,000 crore Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for NBFCs:
As of 4th December 2020, Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have approved the purchase of a portfolio of Rs. 27,794 crore and are currently in process of approval/negotiations for Rs. 1,400 crores. The timeline for purchase of bonds or Commercial Papers (CPs) has been further extended till 31st December 2020.
3. Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding for farmers through NABARD:
As on 4th December, Rs. 25,000 crore has been disbursed out of this special facility. Balance amount of Rs. 5,000 crore under Special Liquidity Facility (SLF) has been allocated to NABARD by RBI for smaller Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Non-Banking Financial Companies-Micro Finance Institutions (NBFCs-MFIs).
Besides, NABARD had issued guidelines on 6th October to roll out disbursement out of SLF for smaller NBFCs and NBFC-MFIs.
Further, proposals amounting to Rs. 690 crore have been sanctioned to 6 NBFCs-MFIs out of the balance amount of Rs. 5,000 crore. Disbursement of Rs. 130 crore has been done till 4th December.
4. Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers through Kisan Credit Cards:
Special drive has been undertaken by the Department of Financial Services under Ministry of Finance to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards.
In Phase I, 58.83 lakh KCC cards with KCC limit of Rs. 46,532 crore had been sanctioned.
In Phase II (as on 4th December 2020), a total number of 110.94 lakh KCC with KCC limit of Rs. 1,07,417 crore has been sanctioned.
Out of the 110.94 lakh KCC sanctioned in Phase II, 92.40 lakh has been done for crop loan, 2.73 lakh for a crop loan with AH or fisheries activities, 4.75 lakh for dairy, 46,786 for poultry, cattle & sheep rearing, etc, 15,037 for fisheries, and 10.44 lakh cases already having KCC sanctioned by the bank, stated the Finance Ministry.
5. Demand booster for Residential Real Estate Income Tax relief for Developers & Home Buyers:
In order to boost demand in the real-estate sector and to enable the real-estate developers to liquidate their unsold inventory at a rate substantially lower than the circle rate and for giving benefit to the home buyers, it has been decided to further increase the safe harbour from 10% to 20% under section 43CA of the Act for the period from 12th November 2020 to 30th June 2021, in respect of only primary sale of residential units of value up to Rs. 2 crore.
Consequent to the announcement, Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a press note on 13th November, giving effect to the same announcement.
6. Income Tax Refunds:
The Ministry of Finance stated that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued refunds of over Rs. 1,45,619 crore to more than 89.29 lakh taxpayers between 1st April and 8th December 2020. Income Tax refunds of Rs. 43,274 crore have been issued in 87,29,626 cases & corporate tax refunds of Rs. 1,02,345 crore have been issued in 1,99,554 cases.
7. Capital Expenditure: Special Assistance for States:
Under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package, it was announced that special interest-free 50-year loans will be given to States for capital expenditure for Rs. 12,000 crores.
As of 7th December, 27 State Governments have submitted proposals under the Scheme for new and ongoing capital works/projects.
Projects amounting to Rs. 8,455.61 crore under Part-I and Part-II of the Scheme have been approved so far and an amount of Rs. 4,227.80 crore, as 1st installment, has been released to the States.
8. Rs 18,000 crore additional outlay for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U):
A number of measures have been taken in the past several months for revival of the Housing and Real Estate Sector. These measures have contributed to fair recovery in this sector. For instance, Special Window for Affordable and Mid Income Housing (SWAMIH) – 135 projects approved with an outlay of Rs. 13,200 crore. This will result in completion of 87,000 houses/flats. Rs 18,000 crore will be provided over the Budget Estimates for 2020-21 for (PMAY-U) through additional allocation and Extra Budgetary Resources. This is over and above Rs 8,000 crore allocated already this year.
9. Rs 1.10 lakh crore Platform for Infra Debt Financing – Rs 6,000 crore Equity infusion in NIIF Debt Platform:
The Government has approved an equity infusion of Rs. 6,000 crore in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Debt Platform, comprising of Aseem Infrastructure Finance Limited and NIIF Infrastructure Finance Limited in its meeting held on 25th November.
10. Rs 20,000 crore Subordinate Debt for Stressed MSMEs:
Scheme was finalised and launched on 24th June 2020. The State Bank of India (SBI) has identified 8,502 accounts and the disbursement process is in progress.
11. Rs 50,000 crore Equity infusion for MSMEs through Fund of Funds:
The Ministry of MSMEs had approved and issued the Guidelines on Self-reliant India (SRI) Fund on 5th August 2020. The NSIC Venture Capital Fund Ltd., the subsidiary company of National Small Industry Corporation Ltd. (NSIC) has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013. This Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will anchor the mother fund.
Following due process, SBI Cap Ventures Ltd. has been selected as Fund Manager/Asset Management Committee.
SBI Cap has already started working towards preparation of Private Placement Memorandum (PPM), stated the Finance Ministry, adding that the Ministry of MSME is taking further steps for operationalisation of the fund.
12. Government’s persistent efforts for payment to MSMEs:
With the concerted efforts by the Ministry of MSMEs since May 2020, over Rs. 21,000 crores of MSME dues have been paid in past 7 Months since May 2020 by the Central Government Agencies and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). The highest level of procurement was achieved in October of over Rs. 5,100 crore and payment of over Rs. 4,100 crore. Going by the reports received in first 10 days for November 2020, this level of performance is expected to be surpassed as procurement of about Rs. 4,700 crore and payment of about Rs 4,000 crore have already been reported.
13. Rs. 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund for farm-gate infrastructure for farmers:
The Agri Infrastructure Fund was approved by the Union Cabinet on 8th July 2020. The scheme was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9th August 2020.
Within 30 days after the Cabinet formally approved the scheme, the first sanction of Rs. 1,128 crore was made to over 2,280 farmer societies. Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with all 12 Public Sector Banks, 9 Private Sector Banks, and 33 Cooperative Banks have been signed by the Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW).
14. Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) – Rs. 15,000 crore:
The AHIDF Scheme was approved by Cabinet on 24th June 2020. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) was signed on 27th July 2020 for development of online Portal.
As on 9th December 2020, a total of 313 applications have been received and are under process.
15. Rs 20,000 crore for Fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY):
The Government approved PMMSY in May 2020 with a total investment of Rs. 20,250 crore. Operational Guidelines of PMMSY were issued to States/UTs on 24th June 2020 along with 5 year fish production targets, first 2 years indicative financial allocations.
There has been an overwhelming response from the State/UTs as Shelf of Projects received of Rs. 6,445 crore from 32 States/UTs, stated the Finance Ministry.
As of 9th December, the Department of Fisheries sanctioned projects worth Rs. 2,182 crore. Another Rs 322 crore for 2 states and Phase-2 proposals of 7 states/UTs are under process.
16. Rs 70,000 crore boost to housing sector and middle income group through extension of Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS):
The Government has extended the CLSS for MIG (Annual income: Rs. 6-18 lakhs) up to 31st March 2021. Order for extension was issued on 5th May, 2020. As of 8th December 2020, 1,04,354 new MIG beneficiaries have been released subsidy under the Scheme during 2020-21, taking the aggregate number to 4.29 Lakh.
17. Boost for Employment AtmaNirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana:
The Cabinet has approved the proposal on 9th December 2020. Modalities/guidelines to implement the scheme are being framed.
18. Rs. 40,000 crore increase in allocation for MGNREGS to provide employment boost:
As of 10th December 2020, Rs. 40,000 crore has been received under 1st supplementary Demand for Grants 2020-21, stated the Finance Ministry, adding that a total of 273.84 crore person days have been generated as of date which is 49% higher than last year.
19. Rs. 90,000 crore Liquidity Injection for DISCOMs:
As of 10th December 2020, against the liquidity infusion package, Rs. 118,273 crore worth of loans have been sanctioned and Rs. 31,136 crore have already been disbursed. Another release of Rs. 30,000 crore to various states is under process.
20. Introduction of Commercial Mining in Coal Sector:
Import Substitution: An Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) constituted for monthly review and decisions/facilitation. Import Monitoring Portal is currently being developed. As of 10th December 2020, thermal coal imports in FY21 (up to 31st October 2020) down by 33% for the power sector, overall by 27%, stated the Finance Ministry.
20. Liberalised Regime in Coal Sector:
Ministry of Coal/Coal India Ltd. is drawing up a large evacuation plan for enhanced CIL’s target of 1 billion tons coal production by 2023-24 plus coal production from private blocks.
As of 10th December 2020, 7 New Rail lines are under implementation with an investment of Rs. 13,775 crore. In First Mile Connectivity Phase-I, 35 projects for mechanised transfer of 404 MTPA coal with a cost of Rs. 12,505 crore are under implementation. Tenders for all 35 projects have been issued. 2 projects have been commissioned. All projects will be completed by 2023-24.
Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction rights auction: 3 projects are planned in CIL command area on BOO basis. NIT for 2 has been issued. Bids will be submitted by 28th December 2020. Feasibility report of one (Sohagpur) project is approved by SECL Board.
Action completed on Mining Plan Guidelines revised on 29th May 2020. Mining Plan Approval process has been simplified and portal for online approval is being developed.
As of 10th December 2020, concessions in commercial terms of Rs. 6,663.78 crore already extended by CIL till 2nd December 2020, the Finance Ministry said.
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