Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced stimulus measures to aid job creation, and boost the key real estate and infrastructure sectors, under the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 package, aimed at rescuing the economy out of a historic contraction. “A number of indicators have are showing that recovery is clearly happening in the economy… The strong recovery is based on the unrelenting reforms that the government has brought in a systematic manner,” the Finance Minister said in a media briefing. Asserting that the latest set of measures take the overall monetary and fiscal support for the economy to Rs 29.88 lakh crore, the finance minister said it is equivalent to 15 per cent of the country’s GDP.
The announcements come at a time when economists have called for the need for further impetus to aid a revival in an economy battered by the world’s biggest lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Rs 900 crore grant for COVID-19 vaccine research
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced aRs 900 crore grant to the Department of Biotechnology for COVID-19 vaccine research. She said the grant does not cover the actual cost of vaccine and distribution expenses, which will be made separately as and when the vaccine is available.
She also said that Rs 10,200 crore additional budget outlay will be provided towards capital and industrial expenditure for domestic defence equipment, industrial incentives and infrastructure and green energy.
This came as the Finance Minister made a series of stimulus package announcements, calling them Aatmanirbhar Bharat 3.0.
|Here are key highlights of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s media briefing
• Going to announce few new measures
• First, would like to give you a picture of economic situation, and impact on Atmanirbhar Bharat announcements made recently
• Active cases of COVID-19 have declined
• In last 10-15 days, there have been many measures and indicators showing recovery clearly happening
• The strong recovery is based on unrelenting reforms brought by government in a systematic manner
• GST collections were at Rs 1.05 lakh crore in October, up 10% year-on-year
• FDI inflows stood at $35.37 billion in April-August, up 13%
• Bank credit growth has improved compared to last year, up.5.1% year-on-year (as of October 23)
• Markets are at record highs, with market capitalisations at record levels (Catch latest updates here)
• RBI’s forex reserves have reached $560 billion
• RBI predicts strong likelihood of economy returning to growth in Q3
• Moody’s has today revised India GDP projection to -8.9% (2020-21) from -9.6%
• PROGRESS ON ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT 1.0 MEASURES:
• Under the “One Nation, One Ration Card” scheme, interstate portability achieved in 28 states/Union Territories, covering 68.6 crore beneficiaries
• Intrastate portability also achieved, with 1.5 crore transactions a month
• Under PM Steet Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM Svanidhi) scheme, 26.32 lakh loan applications received, 13.78 lakh loans (amounting to Rs 1,373.33 crore) sanctioned in 30 states and six UTs
• Kisan Credit Card: Credit boost achieved for 2.5 crore farmers
• 1.83 lakh applications received
• Under ECLG 1.0, Rs 2.05 lakh crore sanctioned to 61 lakh borrowers, Rs 1.52 lakh crore disbursed
• Under partial credit guarantee scheme, PSU banks approved purchase of portfolios worth Rs 26,889 crore
• Under special liquidity scheme for non-banking financial companies/housing finance companies, Rs 7,227 crore disbursed
• Rs 1,18,273 crore loans sanctioned to 17 states/UTs towards liquidity injection for power distribution companies, Rs 31,136 crore already disbursed to 11 states/UTs