For the health sector, the maximum loan amount of Rs 100 crore would be given and the maximum interest rate is capped at 7.95 per cent
New Delhi: To stimulate the economy and ease the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown, finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman on Monday announced eight economic measures amounting to Rs 6.29 lakh crore to provide relief to individuals as well as businesses in the country.
Apart from eight relief measures announced in health and other worst affected sectors, Ms Sitharaman announced a stimulus package for the tourism industry which included five lakh tourist visas to be issued free of charge, once the government resumes issuance. The total financial implication of the scheme will be ₹ 100 crore.
Briefing the media, Ms Sitharaman said, "We are announcing about eight economic relief measures, of which four are absolutely new and one is specific to health infrastructure. A stimulus package worth Rs 6,28,993 crore will be used to support the Indian economy in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic. For Covid-affected areas, we are announcing Rs 1.1 lakh crore credit guarantee scheme, out of which Rs 50,000 crore is for the health sector and Rs 60,000 crore for other sectors. This credit guarantee scheme will facilitate new lending among the smallest borrowers, including stressed borrowers."
For the health sector, she said, the maximum loan amount of Rs 100 crore would be given and the maximum interest rate is capped at 7.95 per cent. "For other sectors, the interest rate is capped at 8.25 per cent. The coverage will be changed based on evolving needs," she added.
Apart from this, an additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) has been announced. This is in addition to the Rs 3 lakh crore announced under the scheme last year. "The new credit guarantee scheme will give loans to small borrowers through Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) where the maximum loan to individuals will be Rs 1.25 lakh at an interest rate below 2 per cent, as prescribed by the RBI. Our focus will be new loans, stressed borrowers except NPAs to be covered and the loan duration of 3 years under the scheme," she said.
The finance minister also announced job benefits, extending the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana and loan guarantees for Covid-affected sectors such as tourism. For the tourism sector, the finance minister unveiled a new scheme to revive the sector. "Financial support will be extended to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides and travel and tourism stakeholders (TTS). These TTS will receive upto Rs 10 lakh loan, while licensed tourist guides will get up to Rs 1 lakh loan," Ms Sitharaman said.
"In the tourism scheme, free tourist visas will be offered to five lakh tourists. This scheme is applicable till March 31, 2022, or till the first five lakh tourist visas get covered, whichever is earlier. One tourist can avail the benefit only once," she added.
During the briefing, the ministry of finance presentation said that 10.93 million foreign tourists visited Indian in 2019, and spent $30.098 billion on leisure and business.
The finance minister also announced an additional Rs 23,220 crore for short-term emergency preparedness with an emphasis on pediatrics care. This is on top of Rs 15,000 crore provided in the Budget. Further, she said that measures have been announced relating to North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd (NERAMC), Digital India, and PMGKY.