Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 17 announced the fifth set of measures under the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package.
The economic stimulus is intended to provide relief during the COVID-19 outbreak and the consequent nationwide lockdown.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on May 12 announced the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus.
Here are the important measures announced by the Finance Minister:
>> Additional Rs 40,000 crore allocated for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), above the budgetary estimate.
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>> Debts related to COVID-19 will be excluded from the "default" category under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. No fresh insolvency proceedings will be initiated for up to one year, depending on the pandemic situation.
>> Minimum threshold for initiating insolvency proceedings has been increased to Rs 1 crore from to Rs 1 lakh. This will help insulate micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
>> Decriminalisation of offences under the Companies Act, for violations that include minor technical and procedural defaults. Seven compoundable offences under Companies Act will be dropped, and five will be dealt under an alternative framework.
>> Private players will be permitted to participate in all sectors, with strategic sectors to be identified where the presence of public sector enterprises is required.
>> Borrowing limit for states for FY21 will be hiked to 5 percent from 3 percent of the GSDP. Additional resources worth Rs 4.28 lakh crore will be available to states.
Also read: FM announces increase in states’ FY21 borrowing limit to 5% from 3%
>> Companies can now list their securities directly in foreign jurisdictions. If companies list their non-convertible debentures (NCDs) in the stock market, they do not qualify as listed companies.
>> One TV channel will be allocated for one class (classes 1 to 12) under the PM e-Vidya initiative.
>> Infectious disease hospital blocks will be established in each district, and public health laboratories to be set up in every block.
The first set of measures had focused on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs). Sitharaman had also announced three tax measures.
The second list of measures on May 14 included measures for migrant workers, street vendors, and small traders. The third tranche on May 15 included benefits for farmers and the agricultural sector.
On May 16, the measures had focused on focussed on sectors such as aviation, space and defence.