FM Press Conference LIVE Updates: The Union Finance Minister is addressing a press conference, where the central government will likely announce another stimulus package amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Sitharaman said the economy is seeing strong recovery, and COVID-19 active cases are declining. The measures are expected to be aimed at sectors worst hit by the pandemic and lockdown and will list out infrastructure projects which will be expedited to boost job creation. The announcement comes shortly after the Union Cabinet approved the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for 10 sectors on November 11.
Here are the key points:
* Emergency Credit line Guarantee Scheme has been extended till March 31, 2021: FM
*Finance minister Sitharaman announced new ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana’ to incentivize job creation. Beneficiaries under the new scheme include any new employee joining employment in EPFO registered establishments on monthly wages less than Rs 15,000. If new employees of the requisite number are recruited from October 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, the establishments will be covered for the next two years.
* Under Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme, public sector banks have bought portfolios worth nearly Rs 27,000 crore. To infuse liquidity into discoms, loans worth Rs 1.18 lakh crore has been sanctioned, loans worth more than Rs 31,000 crore disbursed: Sitharaman.
* Under Emergency Credit Liquidity Guarantee Scheme, a total amount of Rs 2.05 lakh crore has been sanctioned to 61 lakh borrowers, out of which Rs 1.52 lakh crore has been disbursed: FM
* Credit boost has been given to 2.5 crore farmers through ‘Kisan Credit Cards’, Rs 1.4 lakh crore has been distributed to farmers, Sitharaman said while explaining the progress of schemes under ‘atmanirbharbharat’ package.
* 28 states have been brought under ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme, 68.6 crore beneficiaries can hence lift food grains from any of these 28 states/UTs. Around 14 lakh loans have been sanctioned under PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi scheme for street vendors: Sitharaman.
* Moody’s has reassessed India’s 2020 GDP growth at -8.9% (as against -9.6% earlier). For 2021, they have revised estimates to 8.6% (from 8.1% earlier). This shows that a positive correction is happening as regards our economic prospects: Finance minister.
* RBI predicts a strong likelihood of a return to positive growth in Q3 of 2020-21. Various unrelenting systemic reforms have helped in this: Sitharaman.
* Economy has staged a strong recovery with growth in GST collections, bank credit, FDI inflows along with other indicators: FM
* Today’s address will be in addition to the steps in the series of stimulus packages and other economic measures: Sitharaman.
*Incentives of Rs 1.5 lakh crore: The government on Wednesday announced production-linked incentives (PLIs) of a little under Rs 1.5 lakh crore to support domestic manufacturing in 10 sectors. The move is aimed at helping labor-intensive sectors such as textiles, food and automobiles and its components as well as high-end goods such as advanced batteries, including hydrogen fuel cells, and solar cells, while reducing the import of electronics, pharmaceuticals, speciality steel, white goods and telecom and networking equipment.
*Centre’s last package: The government’s last stimulus package in May this year largely failed to soften the blow of the strict coronavirus lockdown as it focused on providing liquidity and collateral-free credit for small businesses but with little actual spending. That package also left out badly hit sectors such as tourism, hospitality and aviation.
* Economic front: The Indian economy, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) singled out as a global bright spot only a few years ago, contracted a hefty 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter and is seen contracting over 10 per cent in the fiscal year to March 2021.
* Recession: India will enter into a recession for the first time in history in the first half of this fiscal with two successive quarters of negative growth due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as per an RBI official. “India has entered a technical recession in the first half of 2020-21 for the first time in its history with Q2 2020-21 likely to record the second successive quarter of GDP contraction,” as per the article titled ‘Economic Activity Index’, authored by Pankaj Kumar of the Monetary Policy Department.