This Article is From Sep 14, 2019

Nirmala Sitharaman On New Measures To Boost Economy: Highlights

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will contribute Rs 10,000 crore for the special window and roughly the same amount is expected from outside investors.

Nirmala Sitharaman On New Measures To Boost Economy: Highlights

The finance minister says interest rate on housing building advance will be lowered.

New Delhi:

The government has announced a Rs 10,000-crore special window to provide last-mile funding for completion of ongoing housing projects which are not NPAs or facing bankruptcy proceedings under NCLT. Announcing the measure, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will contribute Rs 10,000 crore for the special window and roughly the same amount is expected from outside investors. This window will help in completion of affordable and middle income housing projects. The fund will be managed by professionals, the minister added.

Hear are the highlights on Nirmala Sitharaman's briefing on measures taken to boost economy:

  • There has been digitization and a lot of technology-driven infrastructure in the finance sector.
  • Inflation has been held under 4 for a while now... this is an important indicator of how well an economy performs.
  • We have one of the best levels of reserves we have ever had so far.
  • There has been an improved credit outflows from banks.
  • Will be meeting chiefs of public sector banks on September 19.
  • The investment rate is moving upwards. There is a clear sign of revival of FPI flow.
  • There is a removal of human interference in tax assessment. No personal appearance of any assesse.

On exports

  • Interest Equalization Scheme (IES) on pre and post shipment rupee export credit introduced from April 1, 2015 providing interest equalisation at 3% to exporters on 416 lines and for all MSME exporters.
  • The IES rate increased to 5% for MSME exporters with effect from November 2, 2018 and merchant exporters were covered under the scheme with effect from January 2, 2019.
  • India's rank in World Bank 'Ease of doing business' ranking improved from 142 in 2014 to 77 in 2018, with the sub-rank in 'Trading across borders' moving up from 122 to 80.
  • Comprehensive "Agriculture Export Policy" launched on December 6, 2018 with an aim to double farmers' income by 2022.
  • "Transport and Marketing Assistance" (TMA) scheme launched in March 5, 2019 for mitigating disadvantage of higher cost of transportation for export of specified agriculture products.
  • Scheme for Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) covering export of garments and made-ups notified on March 7, 2019 providing refund of duties/taxes at higher rates.

Incentives and Taxation

  • Extend the scheme of reimbursement of taxes and duties for export promotion
  • Fully automated electronic refund route for input tax credits (ITC) in GST.
  • This is expected to monitor and speed up ITC refunds

Export finance

  • Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) will expand the scope of Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS)
  • Will offer higher insurance cover to banks lending working capital for exports.
  • Premium incidence for MSMEs will be moderated suitably.
  • Revised priority sector lending (PSL) norms for export credit.
  • Effective monitoring of Export finncing by Department of Commerce.

Export Facilitation

  • Technology will be further leveraged by timely completion of ongoing incentives t further reduce "Time to export".
  • An action plan to reduce time to export/turn-around time in airportsand ports benchmarked to international standards will be implemented by December 2019.
  • Actual turnaround times will be published in real time for each port and airport to push them to improve performance.
  • An inter-ministerial group will be made accountable for this.
  • Annual mega shopping festivals in India will be organised in four places across 2020 Mrch in four themes.
  • FTA Utilisation Mission to be set up which will be headed by a senior officer in Department of Commerce, to work with FIEO and export houses to utilise concessional tariffs in each FTA. 
  • Handicrafts industry will be enabled to effectively harness e-commerce for exports.

To Boost Housing Sector

  • External commercial borrowings (ECBs) guidelines will be relaxed to facilitate financing of home buyers who are eligible under the PMAY, in consultation with RBI
  • Interest rate on House Building Advance will be lowered and linked with 10 year G Sec Yields. This will encourage more government officials to buy new houses.
  • Special window to be set up for affordable and middle income housing.