Coronavirus: Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 1 lakh crore for farm infrastructure on Friday
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to announce relief measures for the infrastructure sector today as she continues to give the finer details of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On the fourth day of announcements detailing the measures for easing economic hardships triggered by the pandemic, the Finance Minister is likely to announce fund infusion for infrastructure lending.
On Friday, she announced Rs 1 lakh crore for a farm infrastructure fund and a Rs 10,000 crore scheme for micro food enterprises.
She proposed amendments to the Essential Commodities Act to enable better pricing for farmers.
On Thursday, the Finance Minister announced the "One Nation, One Ration Card" scheme and homes with affordable rent in urban areas for migrant workers.
Most of the first two tranches of the package are off-budget and the government cash outgo is limited to just Rs 16,500 crore on free food grain and affordable housing to migrant workers as well as limited tax relief and marginal dole to some companies on employee retirement benefits.
The lockdown that started on March 25 has brought most economic activities to a standstill and left thousands unemployed.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic started in December last year, the economy was already under pressure due to an unprecedented slowdown in the manufacturing sector, affecting the auto sector the most, and a financial crisis among big infrastructure lenders compounded by alleged bank frauds.