Nirmala Sitharaman Announces Fifth Set Of "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" Measures: Highlights

"Atma Nirbhar Bharat" Economic Package: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will allocate an additional Rs 40,000 crore for the MGNREGS employment guarantee scheme.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said no new insolvency cases will be initiated for one year

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday provided details of the fifth and last set of stimulus measures under the government's "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" package to help the economy fight the damage caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the weeks-long lockdown. Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will allocate an additional Rs 40,000 crore for the MGNREGS employment guarantee scheme, over and above the budget estimate of Rs 60,000 crore. The government will privatise state-run companies in non-strategic sectors, and will release a list of strategic sectors each of which will have up to four public sector enterprises, the Finance Minister said. Ms Sitharaman said no new insolvency cases will be initiated for one year, in a bid to avoid a wave of bankruptcies from companies hit by the outbreak.

The steps are part of the fiscal and monetary package worth Rs 20 lakh crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to support the economy, which has been battered by the ongoing lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease.

Here are highlights of the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's fourth set of measures under the "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" economic package:

  • Seven steps to be announced today; last set of measures under "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" package
    • 1) MNREGA
    • 2) Health - rural and urban, including education
    • 3) Businesses and coronavirus
    • 4) Decriminalization of Companies Act
    • 5) Ease Of Doing Business
    • 6) Public Sector Enterprises
    • 7) State governments and related resources
  • Soon after announcing lockdown, government launched "Garib Kalyan" package to address demand for food grain for next 3 months
  • 12 lakh EPFO members have benefited from non-refundable advance
  • As of May 16, 8.91 crore farmers have received benefit of PM KISAN scheme
    • 6.81 crore free cooking gas cylinders given under PM Ujjwala scheme
  • In last two months: 
    • Rs 15,000 crore support released to states for healthcare
    • Rs 15 lakh per person insurance cover rolled out
    • Online education has been taken up in big way, schools now using technology; another 12 channels to be added
  • Timely action already taken to reduce compliance burden for corporates under Companies Act
  • Various steps taken to enhance ease of doing business
  • MGREGA: Government to allocate additional Rs 40,000 crore for MGNREGS, over and above Budget Estimate of Rs 60,000 crore
  • Move to benefit migrant workers returning home
  • HEALTH: Government to increase public expenditure on health, public health labs to be set up 
  • EDUCATION: Online education has been taken up in big way; schools now using technology
  • Government to facilitate technology-driven education via DIKSHA under the e-Vidhya initiative
  • Government to launch one committed TV channel for each of the 12 classes
  • BUSINESSES: New Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) proceedings suspended for one year; no fresh action for a year due to coronavirus
  • Debts related to coronavirus pandemic not to be included in default category under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code for one year
  • Minimum threshold for initiating IBC proceedings already raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore
  • EASE OF DOING BUSINESS: All sectors to be opened to private companies
  • PUBLIC SECTOR ENTERPRISES: At least 1 public sector enterprise to be present in sectors, private sector to be allowed to play its role
  • Policy to categorise strategic sectors, concerned public sector companies to be notified
  • STATE GOVERNMENTS: Borrowing limit for states raised to 5% from 3%
  • RBI already increased states' ways and means advances by 60%
  • Part of borrowing to be linked to specific reforms; portion of additional limit for specific state-level reforms
  • Break-up of announcements made in each of five "Atma Nirbhar Bharat" package tranches: 
    • First: Rs 5,94,550 crore
    • Second: Rs 3,10,000 crore
    • Third: Rs 1,50,000 crore
    • Fourth and fifth: Rs 48,100 crore
  • Earlier government measures including PM Garib Kalyan scheme: Rs 1,92,800 crore
  • RBI measures (actual): Rs 8,01,603 crore
  • Total: Rs 20,97,053 crore