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Last Updated : Sep 14, 2019 05:05 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces Rs 10,000cr fund to revive stuck affordable housing projects, new scheme to boost exports

With an estimated injection of Rs 10,000 crore by government, this window will be run by complete professional drawn from marketplace including banking and housing finance specialists.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman September 14 returned with a fresh set of relief measures, this time to boost exports and the flagging housing sector. This is her fourth such address since mid-August.

In the latest press conference, FM Sitharaman announced two major measures. The first one is a new export promotion scheme for the remission of duties or taxes on export products. This scheme will completely replace Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and Rebate of State Levies (ROSL).

Catch the latest live updates of the press conference here


The second announcement is the set-up of a Rs 10,000 crore special fund, a special window for affordable and mid-income housing. The fund will provide the last-mile funding for housing projects that are non-NPA and non-NCLT projects and are stuck due to lack of funding.

This new export scheme will be applicable not just to textiles but for all goods for which coverage was given both by textile and commerce ministries. MEIS and ROSL will continue up to December 2019 and the new scheme will start from the new year.
The housing fund will be run by complete professional drawn from marketplace including banking and housing finance specialists. This window will specifically target projects in the low affordable and middle- income projects across the country that are low on funding and nearing completion.

FM Sitharaman also announced revised priority sector lending (PSL) norms for exporters that will release additional credit of Rs 36,000 crore to Rs 68,000 crore.

"PSL norms for export credit have been examined and enabling guidelines are under consideration of the Reserve Bank of India," she said, adding, "This will release an additional Rs 36,000 crore to Rs 68,000 crore as export credit under priority sector.

"An important initiative, she pointed out, is the set up of an inter-ministerial working group (IWG) under the Department of Commerce, that will actively monitor export finance.She also highlighted that the scope of the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) will be expanded to include export credit insurance scheme. The initiative is expected to cost Rs 1,700 crore annually and will enable a reduction in the overall cost of export credit including interest rates, especially to MSMEs, she said.

She also announced that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Utilisation Mission would be set up to help exporters optimally utilise the concessional tariffs under trade pacts which India has signed with several countries. Among the most interesting announcements was an annual mega shopping festival that FM Sitharaman said, will be hosted by India in four cities. This festival on the lines of the Dubai Shopping Festival will focus on handicraft, yoga, tourism, textiles, gems and jewellery, and leather, she said.

(With inputs from PTI)
First Published on Sep 14, 2019 04:13 pm