Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked the industry to wait and watch for next few days to assess the situation arising from the second wave of Covid-19. "I would request the industry to watch the next few days a bit more carefully, and then assess for yourself what this quarter is going to be like," Ms Sitharaman said in a virtual address to the members of FICCI National Executive Committee.
The Finance Minister's interactions with the FICCI National Executive Committee covered a gamut of issues ranging from oxygen and medicines shortages, to Covid crisis and its impact on economic sectors.
Dwelling on specific sectors, Nirmala Sitharaman said that hospitality, aviation, travel, tourism and hotels have seen difficult times since the beginning of Covid-19 pandemic. "We have extended the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECGLS 2.0) for these sectors and I will ensure the efficiency with which it was performing last year shall perform even for the aviation and tourism sector," the Finance Minister said.
Referring to the oxygen supply, Ms Sitharaman said permissions have been given, particularly for the most affected states i.e. Delhi, Maharashtra, UP, Chhattisgarh, MP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The supply is being monitored at district level and will be closely monitored during the next 15 days, the Minister added.
Elaborating on the country's pharma capacity, Ms Sitharaman pointed out that the government has given fast-track approvals for production of Remdesvir.