key highlights of India’s massive Rs 20 lakh crore fiscal stimulus announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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key highlights

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman begins to announce the fourth tranche of announcement related to the economic package 2.0
  • FM said that the government is trying to give little assistance to the people so that they don’t suffer in this unfortunate time.
  • FM Sitharaman clarified that Atma Nirbhar Bharat is not about making India isolated.
  • FM said that PM Modi’s goal of self-reliant India is to prepare the country for tough competition and face challenges of global value chains.
  • GST,  DBT, IBC, Ease of doing business, PSU banks reforms, and the direct tax changes, UDAY scheme have been landmark reforms
  • Today’s announcement to be focussed on structural reforms in the sectors that are going to be the new horizon for growth, more investment can be drawn, more production can be clearly marked, and certainly more employment opportunities can be generated in these sectors.
  • The foundation of Make in India initiative was laid earlier will be a big contributor for Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
  • Govt to make major announcements for eight sectors – coal, minerals, defence production, air space management, airports, MRO, distribution companies in UTs, space sector, and atomic energy.
  • The fourth tranche of announcements will also include champion sectors and the incentive schemes for the promotion of new champion sectors will be launched in sectors such as solar PV manufacturing, advanced cell battery storage, etc.
  • Govt will bring in commercial mining in coal sector
  • FM Sitharaman brings commercial mining in the coal sector, the government’s monopoly has been removed. This will bring coal on market prices.
  • Coal bed methane extraction will be auctioned. Rs 50,000 crore will be spent by the government towards evacuation infrastructure.
  • Nearly 50 coal blocks will be available for auction in near future. Upfront payment ceiling will be applicable.
  • A seamless composite mining-cum-exploration-cum-production facility for the mineral sector.  500 mining blocks will be allocated for this and joint auction will take place
  • The government allows the sale of surplus and unused minerals by new mining lease facility.
  • We need to be self-reliant in the defence sector. High tech equipment can be imported but some of the weapons can be made in India. Certain weapons to be restricted from imports and can only be bought from India
  • A separate budget will be given for domestic capital procurement so that the armed forces can reduce the import bill
  • Govt corporatise ordinance factory board, to be listed in stock markets. FM Sitharaman clarified that it will not be privatised.
  • Government increases FDI limit in defence manufacturing under the automatic route from 49% to 74%. Also, time-bound defence procurement process and faster decision making will be ushered
  • The government aims to set up a project management unit to support contract management in defence manufacturing. Overhauling trial and testing procedures will also be available.
  • Only about 60% of airspace is freely available. Optimum utilisation of airspace to reduce air distance and fuel consumption is necessary
  • The government puts 6 more airports on auction, does additional investment in 12 airports for world-class facility.
  • Utilisation of airspace will bring a total benefit of about Rs 1,000 crore per year for the aviation sector by reducing fuel use and time.
  • Aviation sector to get benefit of Rs 800 crore to Rs 2,000 crore from aircraft maintenance and airframe repair in country from MRO hub.
  • Power distribution companies in Union Territories will be privatised. Tariff will be applicable according to the government’s guidelines
  • Privatisation of the discoms will bring stability in the power sector. Will help timely payment too
  • Rs 8,100 crore outlay for viability gap funding in social infrastructure, by increasing the quantum from 20% to 30%.
  • To provide private players with a level field, the government has allowed the private sector to use ISRO’s facilities. The government has aimed to make predictable policy for private players to make them co-travellers for Atma Nirbhar Bharat
  • Government to establish a research reactor in the PPE model for the production of medical isotopes for treating cancer and other diseases. India has earned a lot of goodwill from countries where India has exported them.

Quote by Mr. Rustom Kerawalla, Chairman, Ampersand Group on the Education Stimulus announced by Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister

Key Features

“The thrust on online education by way of SWAYAM PRABHA DTH channels for reaching those who do not have access to the internet addresses the challenges faced by a large part of the student population. However, there has to be a stronger focus on measuring effectiveness. The government needs to look at third-party credible sources for making fair assessments.

Important Announcement – EasyShiksha has now started Online Internship Program “Ab India Sikhega Ghar Se” during this lockdown.

The e-VIDYA programme for multi-mode access to digital or online education may not be applicable to all age groups. The younger children cannot focus on online modes without assistance or Parental Guidance and hence elders in the family too should be trained to impart education.  For the elder children, earmarking a TV channel or extensive use of radio and podcasts needs to be backed by practical on-ground training. The concept of ‘blended learning’ and training teachers for the new modes of learning should not be missed by the policymakers.

As announced for other sectors like Airports, Energy or Defence, the Government should embrace Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) more widely for implementing these plans. PPPs can be involved for establishment, improvement or management of new or existing education infrastructure in the country. This would ensure fast track content creation, imparting training for the continuous professional development of teachers, vocational training and for monitoring outcome at the ground level.”

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