Highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman last part of economic package
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the fifth and last part of Centre’s Rs 20 lakh crore fiscal stimulus announced by Prime Minister. The first tranche included measures for small businesses, the second aimed at helping migrant workers and the third aimed at Agriculture, Farmers and Workers and the Fourth aimed at Structural Reforms. On 17th may 2020, the last part was announced.
Key Highlights of Nirmala Sitharaman 5th Part of Announcements
5th part is focusing on these seven areas:
- Health and Education
- Businesses and Covid
- Decriminalization of Company’s Act
- Ease of doing business
- Public Sector Enterprises and related matters
- State governments and resources related to state governments.
1. Land, Labour, Liquidity and Laws have all been emphasized in Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package. The crisis and the challenge is an opportunity to build a Self Reliant India.
2. Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package used technology to do direct benefit transfer to people, we could do what we did because of the initiatives taken during the last few years
3. One-time transfer of Rs 2,000 has reached 8.19 crore farmers, total amount Rs 16,394 crore
4. National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) beneficiaries got Rs 1,405 crore in first installment and Rs 1,402 crore in 2nd installment, target of Rs 3,000 crore nearly achieved
5. Health-related steps
- Rs 15,000 crore was released by the PM,
- insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs per person for health professionals,
- made sure telemedicine comes into play,
- capacity building exercises have been taken up,
- for protection of health care workers, amendment of Epidemic Diseases Act was required which was undertaken,”
- Rs 15000 crore announced for states, essential items and testing labs and kits along with rolling out of tele-consultation services,
- launch of Arogya Setu app and protection to health care workers with adequate PPEs.
6. Education – related steps:
- 200 new Textbooks Being Added to E-pathshala
- Online education is being taken up in a big way.
- Another 12 channels will be added.
- It will be a great help to students in rural areas
7. Shramik special trains were started when it was possible for workers to move, states were requested to bring workers to stations, 85% cost was borne by the Central government.
8. Corporate Law Measures for Ease of Doing Business
Timely action was taken during COVID-19, to reduce compliance burden, under various provisions of Companies Act, 2013.
These amendments will be brought through an ordinance
- Board meetings were allowed to be online,
- rights issues can be done digitally,
- Rationalization of RPT related provisions
- 44% recovery has been achieved since inception of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
- No fresh IBC Proceeding for 1 year – Fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year;
- Debts due to COVID19 will not be included in the category of ‘default’
- Section 240A of IBC will be notified for MSME – Special Insolvency Resolution Framework
- Decriminalize of Provisions of Companies Act – Decriminalization of companies act defaults involving minor technical and procedural violations
- Internal Adjudicating Mechanism for Compounding of Offences – Majority of the compoundable offences sections to be shifted to internal adjudication mechanism and powers of RD for compounding enhanced
- Seven compoundable offences altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework
- companies to directly list their securities in foreign jurisdiction
- Private companies which list non-convertible debentures (NCDs) on stock exchange not to be regarded as listed companies
- Power to create additional / Specialized benches for NCLAT
- Provisions related to Producer Company (Part IX of Companies Act, 1956) included in Company Act 2013
- Lower Penalties for default done by Small / OPC / Producer/ Start Up Companies.
9. For MGNREGA
- Rs 40,000 crores increase in allocation for MGNREGA to provide employment boost.
- Will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total
10. Tech-driven Education with Equity Post Covid-19:
- PM eVidya: A program for multi-mode access to digital education to be launched immediately, consisting of:
- Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30th May
- DIKSHA for school education in states and union territories, e-content and QR coded textbooks for all grades
- Special digital content for Divyang children
11. Public Sector Enterprise Policy:
The government will announce a new policy whereby:
- In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed
- In other sectors, PSEs will be privatized
12. States have so far borrowed only 14% of the limit authorized, 86% of the authorized borrowing remains unutilized.
13. Revenue Deficit Grants to states of Rs 12,390 crores was given on time in April and May despite Centre’s stressed resources; devolution of taxes of Rs 46,038 in April given fully
The author of the above article is CS Lalit Rajput, Partner at Xcede Consultech LLP.
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