Atmanirbhar Bharat: Here's a complete list of reforms announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown on the Indian economy.
Combining several structural reforms, fiscal and liquidity measures, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 17 announced the fifth tranche of the ₹20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Here are all the reforms announced by under Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package:
Centre announced Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package for the poor to help them fight the battle against Coronavirus. The package includes the following:
Insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh per health worker. Free 5 kg wheat or rice, per person, for the next 3 months, to 80 crore poor people. 1 kg pulses for each household per month for the next 3 months. 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to receive Rs 500 per month for the next 3 months. Free gas cylinders to 8 crore families for the next 3 months. Increase in MNREGA wage from Rs 182 to Rs 202 per day. Ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizens, widows and divyangs.
Rs 2,000 paid to farmers under existing PM-KISAN Yojana.
24 percent of monthly wages to be credited into the PF accounts of workers earning less than Rs 15,000 per month, in businesses having less than 100 workers, for the next three months. Five crore workers registered under Employee Provident Fund EPF to get a non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts. Limit of collateral-free lending to be increased from Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakhs for Women Self Help Groups supporting 6.85 crore households.
Issued all the pending income-tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh, benefiting around 14 lakh taxpayers. Implemented Special Refund and Drawback Disposal Drive for all pending refund and drawback claims. Both amount to ₹18,000 crore of refund.
Sanctioned Rs 15,000 crores for Emergency Health Response Package. Provided Relaxation in Statutory and Compliance matters, such as extending the last date for income tax returns and GST returns to June 30, 2020. Relaxation for 3 months for debit cardholders to withdraw cash free from any ATMs.
Allowing payment before 15 May 2020 for Motor Vehicle and Health Insurance Policies.
Mandatory Board meetings extended by 60 days till 30 September. Allowing Extraordinary General Meetings through Video Conference with e-voting/simplified voting facility.
Measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India
RBI reduced Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), resulting in liquidity enhancement of Rs 1,37,000 crores. Raised the Ways and Means advance limits of the state governments by 60 percent and enhanced the overdraft duration limits.
Targeted Long-Term Repo Operations (TLTROs) of Rs 1,00,050 crore for fresh deployment in investment-grade corporate bonds, commercial paper, and non-convertible debentures. TLTRO of Rs 50,000 crore for investing them in investment-grade bonds, commercial paper, and non-convertible debentures of NBFCs, and MFIs.
Increased banks’ limit for borrowing overnight under the marginal standing facility (MSF), allowing the banking system to avail an additional Rs 1,37,000 crore at the reduced MSF rate. Announced special refinance facilities to NABARD, SIDBI and the NHB for a total amount of Rs 50,000 crore at the policy repo rate.
RBI announced the opening of a special liquidity facility (SLF) of Rs 50,000 crore for mutual funds to alleviate intensified liquidity pressures. A moratorium of three months on payment of instalments and payment of interest on working capital facilities in respect of all term loans.Easing of working capital financing by reducing margins.
For loans by NBFCs to commercial real estate sector, additional time of one year has been given for commencement for commercial operations (DCCO).
To restart businesses, MSMEs to be given emergency credit line of up to 20 percent of entire outstanding credit as on 29 February 2020. Borrowers with up to Rs 25 crore outstanding and Rs 100 crore turnover eligible for the loan. Loans to have 4-year tenor with a moratorium of 12 months on principal repayment. 100 percent credit guarantee cover to banks and NBFCs on principal and interest. The loan, which will benefit 45 lakh units, can be availed till 31 October 2020.
Subordinate debt for stressed MSMEs
Centre will facilitate the provision of Rs 20,000 crore as subordinate debt, likely to benefit two lakh MSMEs. Functioning MSMEs, including NPAs and stressed businesses will be eligible for debt. The government will also provide support of Rs 4,000 crore to Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (GTMSE).
Equity infusion for MSMEs through Fund of Funds
Centre to set up Fund of Funds with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crores. FoF will be operated through a mother fund and few daughter funds. Fund structure will help leverage Rs 50,000 crore of funds at daughter funds level. It will also encourage MSMEs to get listed on the main board of Stock Exchanges.
Catering to the long-pending demand for revisions in the definition of MSMEs, Centre revised upwards investment limit. Under the new definition, manufacturing and services enterprises with investments up to Rs 1 crore and turnover up to Rs 5 crore will be classified as micro enterprises.
Also read: Explained | Revised definition of MSMEs
For small enterprises, the investment criteria has been revised upwards to Rs 10 crore, with the turnover criteria of Rs 50 crore added to the mix. Enterprises with investment up to Rs 20 crore and turnover up to Rs 100 crore will be termed medium enterprises.
To help Indian businesses scale, government disallowed global tenders in government procurement up to Rs 200 crores.
Other interventions for MSMEs
Government to provide e-market linkage for MSMEs. E-market will be promoted as a replacement for trade fairs and exhibitions. Fintech will be used to enhance transaction-based lending using the data generated by the e-marketplace.
Additionally, MSME receivables from government and CPSEs to be released within 45 days.
Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP), payment of 12 percent each of employer and employee contributions was made into EPF accounts of eligible establishments. This payment, which was made for March, April and May, will be extended till August. The move aims to provide liquidity relief of Rs 2500 cr to 3.67 lakh establishments and 72.22 lakh employees.
Statutory PF contribution of both employer and employee will be reduced to 10 percent from the existing 12 percent for all establishments covered by EPFO for the next 3 months. This will provide relief to 4.3 crore employees and 6.5 lakh establishments covered under EPFO. It will also create liquidity worth Rs 6,750 Crore.
The government will launch a Rs 30,000 crore Special Liquidity Scheme. Under this scheme, the investment will be made in both primary and secondary market transactions in investment-grade debt paper of NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs. Securities will be fully guaranteed by the central government.
Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for NBFCs
Existing PCGS scheme will be extended to cover borrowings such as primary issuance of Bonds/CPs (liability side of balance sheets) of NBFCs, HFCs and MFIs with low credit rating. First 20 percent of losses will be borne by the Centre. The scheme will result in the liquidity of Rs 45,000 crores.
Power Finance Corp/REC to infuse liquidity of Rs 90,000 crore to DISCOMs against receivables. Loans to be given against state guarantees for the exclusive purpose of discharging liabilities of DISCOMs to Gencos. Central Public Sector Generation Companies shall give a rebate to DISCOMs, which shall be passed on to the final consumers (industries).
Relief to contractors
Extension of up to six months to be provided by all Central Agencies (like Railways, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Central Public Works Department). Government agencies to partially release bank guarantees, to the extent contracts are partially completed, to ease cash flows.
Extension of Completion Date of Real Estate Projects
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will advise States/UTs to treat COVID-19 as an event of ‘Force Majeure’ under RERA and extend the registration and completion date suo-moto by six months for all registered projects expiring on or after 25 March 2020. Regulatory Authorities may further extend this for the period of 3 months.
To provide more funds at the disposal of the taxpayers, the rates of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) for non-salaried specified payments made to residents and rates of Tax Collection at Source (TCS) for the specified receipts shall be reduced by 25 percent of the existing rates. The reduction shall be applicable for the remaining part of the FY2020-21. The measure will release liquidity of Rs 50,000 crore.
Other Direct Tax Measures
All pending refunds to charitable trusts, non-corporate businesses and professions, including proprietorship, partnership, LLP and co-operatives shall be issued immediately. Due date of all income tax return and tax audit for FY 2019-20 will be extended to 30 November and 31 October 2020 respectively.
Date of assessments getting barred on 30 September extended to 31 December 2020 and those getting barred on 31 March 2021 will be extended to 30 September 2021.
Direct support to farmers
Three crore farmers, with agricultural loans of Rs 4.22 lakh crore, availed the benefit of three months loan moratorium. Interest subvention and prompt repayment incentive on crop loans extended up to 31 May 2020. Additionally, 25 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards, with a loan limit of Rs 25,000 crore, were sanctioned.
63 lakh loans worth Rs 86,600 crore approved between 1 March to 30 April 2020. Refinancing of Rs 29,500 crore provided by NABARD to Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks in March 2020. Support of Rs 4,200 crore provided under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund to States for rural infrastructure. Working capital limit of Rs 6,700 crore sanctioned to state governments for procurement of agriculture produce since March 2020.
The government released Rs 11,002 crore of its contribution in State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to all states on 3 April 2020. Prepared three meals a day for the residents of Shelters for Urban Homeless (SUH) during the lockdown. 12,000 SHGs have produced three crore masks and 1.20 lakh litres of sanitizers. 7,200 new Self-Help Groups of urban poor have been formed during the period starting 15 March 2020.MGNREGS support to returning migrants
14.62 crore person-days of work generated till 13 May 2020. Centre to continue MNREGA works in monsoon for plantations, horticulture, livestock-related sheds, among others.
In a bid to reduce regional disparity in minimum wages, a statutory concept of National Floor Wage to be introduced. Appointment letter to be provided to all workers to promote formalisation. Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) code will also be applicable to establishments engaged in work of hazardous nature even with a threshold of less than 10 workers.
Definition of the inter-state migrant worker to include migrant workers employed directly by the employer. Extension of ESIC coverage, on a voluntary basis, will be extended to all districts and all establishments employing 10 or more employees as against those in notified districts/areas only. Mandatory ESIC coverage for employees in hazardous industries with less than 10 employees.
Centre to introduce re-skilling fund introduced for retrenched employees and provision for Social Security Fund for unorganised workers. Government t0 introduce the provision of gratuity on completion of one year service as against 5 years.
Migrants will be provided five kg of grains per person and one kg chana, per family, per month, for two months. Centre will spend Rs 3,500 crore on this intervention for two months.
One Nation One Ration Card will enable a migrant beneficiary to purchase grains from any ration shop in the country. 67 crore beneficiaries in 23 states will be covered by August 2020. 100 percent portability will be achieved by March 2021.
Affordable housing for migrants and urban poor
The government will launch a scheme under PMAY for migrant labour and urban poor to provide ease of living at affordable entry. Government-funded housing in the cities will be turned into affordable rental housing complexes (ARHC) under PPP mode.
The government will provide interest subvention of two percent for prompt payees for a period of 12 months. Relief of Rs 150 crore to MUDRA-Shishu loanees.
Centre to launch a special scheme to facilitate easy access to credit to street vendors. Initial working capital up to Rs 10,000 will be provided and digital payments will be incentivized through monetary rewards. The move will benefit nearly 50 lakh street vendors and will provide liquidity of Rs 5,000 crore.
Boost to the housing sector and middle-income group
The government will extend the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for Middle Income Group (Annual Income: Rs 6–18 lakhs) up to March 2021. The extension will benefit 2.5 lakh middle income families and lead to an investment of over Rs 70,000 crore in housing.
Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA), set up under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016, will approve plans worth Rs 6,000 crore shortly. This will create job opportunities in urban, semi-urban and rural areas, including job opportunities for Tribals and Adivasis.
NABARD will extend additional refinance support of Rs 30,000 crore for crop loan requirement of Rural Co-op Banks and RRBs. This will benefit around 3 crore farmers - mostly small and marginal farmers.
Special drive to be undertaken to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards. Fishermen and Animal Husbandry farmers will also be included in this drive. 2.5 crore farmers will benefit from the credit flow of about Rs 2 lakh crore.
During lockdown period Minimum Support Price (MSP) purchases of amount more than Rs 74,300 crores. PM KISAN fund Transfer of Rs 18,700 crores. PM Fasal Bima Yojana claim payment of Rs 6,400 crores
Additional measures: Animal Husbandry
During lockdown 560 lakh litre of milk procured by cooperatives per day. Total 111 crore litres extra procured ensuring payment of Rs 4,100 crore. A new scheme launched to provide interest subvention of 2 percent per annum to dairy cooperatives for FY 2020-21. Additional 2 percent interest subvention on prompt payment/interest servicing. The scheme will unlock 5000 crore additional liquidity, benefitting 2 crore farmers.
Additional measures: Fisheries
Centre extended the validity of Sanitary Import Permits (SIPs) for import of Shrimp Broodstock extended by 3 months. Verification of documents and grant of NOC for quarantine relaxed from 7 days to 3 days. Registration of 242 registered shrimp hatcheries and nauplii rearing hatcheries expiring on 31 March 2020 extended for 3 months.
Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for farm-gate infrastructure
Financing facility of Rs 1,00,000 crore will be provided for funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate and aggregation points (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Producer Organisations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, Startups, etc.)
New scheme for Micro Food Enterprises
A scheme, worth Rs 10,000 crore, will be launched to help two lakh Micro Food Enterprises (MFEs) attain FSSAI food standards, build brands and marketing. The scheme will support existing micro food enterprises, farmer producer organisations, self-help groups and cooperatives.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
The central government will launch the PMMSY for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries. Under PMMSY, Rs 11,000 crore will be marked for activities in Marine, Inland fisheries and Aquaculture and Rs 9000 crore for fishing-related infrastructure. This will lead to additional fish production of 70 lakh tonnes over 5 years. It will also provide employment to over 55 lakh persons and double exports to Rs 1,00,000 crore.
National Animal Disease Control Programme
National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis launched with a total outlay of Rs. 13,343 crores. The programme will ensure 100 percent vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population (total 53 crore animals) for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and for brucellosis. Till date, 1.5 crore cows & buffaloes tagged and vaccinated.
Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund
An Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs 15,000 crore will be set up. Incentives will be given for establishing plants for the export of niche products.
Promotion of Herbal Cultivation
Under herbal cultivation, 10,00,000 hectare will be covered in the next two years with an outlay of Rs 4,000 crore. This will lead to income generation for farmers worth Rs 5,000 crore.
The central government will implement a scheme for infrastructure development related to Integrated Beekeeping Development Centres, Collection, Marketing and Storage Centres, Post Harvest & value Addition facilities. The scheme, with an outlay of Rs 500 crore, will lead to an increase in income for 2 lakh beekeepers and quality honey to consumers.
All fruits and vegetables to be covered under Operation Greens
Operation Greens project to be extended from Tomatoes, Onion and Potatoes (TOP) to all fruits and vegetables. The scheme will provide 50 percent subsidy on transportation from surplus to deficient markets and 50 percent subsidy on storage, including cold storages. The extension will be on a pilot basis for 6 months.
Better price realisation for farmers
To enable better price realisation for farmers, agriculture food, including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato will be deregulated. The government will amend the Essential Commodities Act.
Agriculture Marketing Reforms to provide choices to farmers
Farmers bound to sell agriculture produce only to licensees in APMCs, resulting in less price realisation. A law will be formulated to provide adequate choices to farmer to sell produce at an attractive price and enable barrier-free inter-state trade.
A facilitative legal framework will be created to enable farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters in a fair and transparent manner. Risk mitigation for farmers, assured returns and quality standardisation to be an integral part of the framework.
Policy Reforms to fast-track investment
The government will fast-track investment clearance through Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS). A Project Development Cell will be formed in each ministry to prepare investible projects, coordinate with investors and Central, state governments. Additionally, states will be ranked on investment attractiveness.
Mapping of industrial land
The government will map the availability of industrial land/land bank to promote new investments and make information available on Industrial Information System (IIS) with GIS mapping. A total of 3,376 industrial parks, estates and SEZs in 5 lakh hectares mapped will be mapped on IIS. Moreover, all industrial parks will be ranked.
To increase self-reliance in coal production, the Centre will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation in the coal sector through revenue sharing mechanism instead of the regime of fixed Rupee/tonne. Entry norms will be liberalized and any party can bid for a coal block and sell in the open market.
Against earlier provision of the auction of fully explored coal blocks, now even partially explored blocks to be auctioned. And production earlier than scheduled will be incentivized through rebate in revenue-share.
Investment to develop coal infrastructure
To lower impact on the environment, coal gasification and liquefication will be incentivised through rebate in revenue share. Government to spend Rs 50,000 crore for infrastructure development, including Rs 18,000 crore worth of investment for conveyor belts (from mines to railway sidings).
Liberalised regime in coal sector
Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction rights to be auctioned from Coal India Limited’s (CIL) coal mines. Ease of doing business measures, such as Mining Plan simplification, will be taken. Concessions, worth Rs 5000 crore, will be given to CIL’s consumers.
Private investments in the mineral sector
The government will introduce a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime. Initially, 500 mining blocks would be offered through an open and transparent auction process. Additionally, bauxite and coal mineral blocks will be auctioned jointly to enhance the aluminium industry’s competitiveness.
Mineral Index to be developed
Centre to remove the distinction between captive and noncaptive mines to allow the transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals. Ministry of Mines to develop developing a Mineral Index for different minerals.
To promote PM's Make in India vision, the government will ban the import of several weapons. A separate budget provisioning for domestic capital procurement to help reduce the huge defence import bill. Centre will also corporatise Ordnance Factory Board to improve autonomy, accountability and efficiency.
Policy Reforms: Defence production
In a major announcement, the Centre increased FDI limit in the defence manufacturing under the automatic route from 49 percent to 74 percent.
Indian airspace norms to be eased
Restrictions on the utilisation of the Indian airspace will be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient. The move will bring a total benefit of about Rs 1,000 crore per year for the aviation sector.
Development of world-class airports through PPP
The Airport Authority of India has awarded three airports out of six for operation and maintenance on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis. 6 more airports identified for which, the bidding process will commence soon. Additional investment by private players in 12 airports expected around Rs 13,000 crores. Another 6 airports will be put out for the third round of bidding.
Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul
The tax regime for the MRO ecosystem had been rationalised and aircraft component repairs and airframe maintenance would increase from Rs 800 crore to Rs 2,000 crore in three years. Additionally, convergence between the defence sector and the civil MROs will be established to create economies of scale.
Tariff policy reform
A Tariff Policy laying out the following reforms will be released. The reforms will include the following:A. Consumer rights
- Discom inefficiencies not to burden consumers
- Standards of service and associated penalties for discoms
- Discoms to ensure adequate power, load shedding to be penalised
B. Promote industry
- Progressive reduction in cross-subsidies
- Time-bound grant of open access
- Generation and transmission project developers to be selected competitively
C. Sustainability of sector
- No regulatory assets
- Timely payment for generation companies
- Direct Benefit Transfer for subsidy; Smart prepaid meters
Privatisation of distribution in UTs
Power departments, utilities in Union Territories will be privatised to improve operational and financial efficiency in distribution and provide better service to consumers.
Viability Gap Funding Scheme
The quantum of Viability Gap Funding will be enhanced up to 30 percent each of Total Project Cost as VGF by Centre and State/Statutory Bodies. Total outlay is Rs 8,100 crore.
Boosting private participation in space activities
India to provide a level playing field for private companies in satellites, launches and space-based services. The private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities.
Govt to establish research reactor
Centre to establish a research reactor in PPP mode for the production of medical isotopes to promote the welfare of humanity through affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases. Additionally, facilities will be set up to use irradiation technology for food preservation to compliment agricultural reforms and assist farmers.
The government will now allocate an additional Rs 40,000 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA). This will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total. Under this, the government will continue in Monsoon season as well.
Health reforms and initiatives
The government will increase investments in Public Health. Under this, health and wellness centres in rural and urban areas will be ramped up. Additionally, Infectious Diseases Hospital Blocks will be built in all districts. Integrated public health labs will also be set up in all districts and block level.
PM eVIDYA — a programme for multi-mode access to digital/online education — will be launched immediately. The programme will comprise one earmarked TV channel per class from 1 to 12. Special e-content will be prepared for visually and hearing impaired. Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30 May 2020.
Manodarpan, an initiative for psychosocial support of students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional wellbeing, will also be launched simultaneously.
National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission will be launched in December 2020 to ensure that every child attains learning levels and outcomes in grade 5 by 2025.
Enhancement of ease of doing business IBC-related measures
The minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings raised to Rs 1 crore (from Rs 1 lakh, which largely insulates MSMEs). Suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year depending upon the pandemic situation. Special insolvency resolution framework for MSMEs under Section 240A of the Code to be notified soon. Empowering Central Government to exclude COVID 19 related debt from the definition of “default” under the Code for the purpose of triggering insolvency proceedings.
Decriminalisation of violations under Companies Act
The Centre will decriminalise violations involving minor technical and procedural defaults like shortcomings in CSR reporting, inadequacies in board report, filing defaults, delay in holding AGM. Majority of the compoundable offences sections to be shifted to internal adjudication mechanism (IAM). 58 sections to be dealt with under IAM as compared to 18 earlier. The amendments will de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT.
Ease of doing business for corporates
Centre to allow direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions. Private companies which list NCDs on stock exchanges not to be regarded as listed companies. Lower penalties for all defaults for Small Companies, One person Companies, Producer Companies and Start Ups.
The government will announce a new, coherent policy where all sectors are open to the private sector while public sector enterprises (PSEs) will play an important role in defined areas. List of strategic sectors requiring the presence of PSEs in the public interest will be notified. In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but the private sector will also be allowed. In other sectors, PSEs will be privatized.
Funds disbursed to state governments
Centre has disbursed Rs 46,038 crore to states in April. Revenue Deficit Grants Rs 12,390 cr was given to states in April and May. State Disaster Response Funds, worth Rs 11,092 crore, released in the first week of April. Health Ministry also released Rs 4,113 crore for anti-COVID activities.
States' net borrowing ceiling for 2020-21 increased from 3 percent to 5 percent. This will give states extra resources of Rs 4.28 lakh crore.Of the increased 2 percent, 0.50 percent will be unconditional. And 1 percent will be released in four tranches of 0.25 percent. Further 0.50 percent will be released if milestones are achieved in at least three out of four reform areas. Reform linkage will be in four areas: universalisation of ‘One Nation One Ration card’, Ease of Doing Business, Power distribution and Urban local body revenues.