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Centre Unveils 7-step Final Economic Tranche; MGNREGA & Education Boosted, New PSU Policy

In the fifth and the last tranche of Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the Finance Minister announced 7 steps namely for MNREGA, health, education, easing business

Nirmala SItharaman

In the fifth and the last tranche of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced 7 steps namely for MNREGA, health and education, for states, and for easing of business. She started by quoting PM Modi from his speech on Tuesday - "As a nation today we stand at a very crucial juncture, such a big disaster is a signal for India and it has brought a message and an opportunity," PM had said. The Finance Minister said that her announcements of the day are in the same line. It will help to build Aatmanirbhar Bharat, she said.

READ | Centre rolls out 11 measures for farmers, fishermen & animals in third economic tranche

Here are the announcements:

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MNREGA): The government will now allocate an additional Rs 40000 crore under MNREGA. 

 

  • Health - rural and urban areas including education: The government announced that the public expenditure on health will be increased. Infectious diseases hospital blocks will be built in all districts. Steps will be taken to implement the National Digital Health Blueprint. Steps will also be taken to strengthen lab network, surveillance and research.

  • Education: The FM announced that there will be one nation, one digital platform under PM e-Vidya programme and there will be one class, one channel from Class 1 to Class 12. The FM also said that there will be extensive use of community radio and there will be special e-content for visually and hearing-impaired students. Top 100 universities will be permitted to start online courses by may 30.

 

 

  • Business and Covid 19: In a major step to insulate the MSMEs, the FM announced that minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceeding will be one crore. She said that the special insolvency resolution framework will be set for MSMEs under Section 240A. Furthermore, the FM said that the Central government will have the power to exclude COVID 19 related debt from definition of 'default' under the Code. 

  • Decriminalistaion of Companies Act: The FM announced that the Centre will amend the companies act under which 7 compoundable offences will be dropped and 5 will be dealt with alternative framework. She added that the 58 compoundable offences sections will be dealt by the internal adjudication mechanism (IAM), while earlier only 18 were dealt by the same. 
     

 

  • Ease of doing business and related issues: The FM announced that direct listing of securities will be permissible to Indian public companies. She also said that penalities for all defaults for small companies, one-person companies, producer companies & start-ups has been lowered.
     

 

  • Public Sector Enterprises: In a major step, the FM said that the private sector will be allowed to participate in all sectors while the Public Sector Enterprise will continue to play important role in the defined area. She said that the government will announce strategic sectors requiring PSEs, and they will be notified. Furthermore, she said no more than 4 PSEs will be present in a notified sector. In other sectors, she said, PSEs will be privatised.
     

 

  • State governments & related resources: The Centre announced that the borrowing limits of the States have been increased from 3% to 5% for 2020-2021. 
     

     

READ | Centre rolls out structural reforms in 8 Indian sectors in its fourth economic tranche

Boost to economy

In an attempt to kickstart the economy, the Modi government has also announced a slew of measures under the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme which will benefit migrants, working class, farmers, MSMEs, etc. 

In the first tranche of economic relief, the FM announced reforms that involved 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for businesses, Rs. 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund, redefining 'MSME', disallowing global tenders upto Rs 200 crores, Rs.30,000 crore liquidity facility for NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs, Rs.90,000 crore liquidity injection for DISCOMs among a few.

READ | Centre announces 9 steps to benefit migrants, farmers, vendors in second economic tranche

In the second tranche, nine measures were announced to aid migrant workers, street vendors, small farmers, self-employed people. Among them were free food grains, nationalized ration card, affordable rental housing for urban poor, etc.

In its third tranche, 11 measures were announced - of which 8 of them focused on strengthening infrastructure, capacities, and building better logistics in agriculture, fisheries, and animal husbandry, while the rest three pertained to governance and administrative reforms.

In the fourth tranche, Centre announced structural reforms in eight sectors namely - Coal, defence production, minerals, civil aviation (Airports, Airspace Mgmt & MRO), power distribution in UTs, Space and atomic energy. The steps include Commercial mining in the coal sector, Seamless exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime in the mineral sector, Corporatisation not privatisation of Ordnance Factory Board, overhauling of Airspace management, making India an MRO hub and auctioning of airports, privatisation of Power distribution in Union territories, Rs. 8000 crores to revamp Social infrastructure, Private participation boost in Space exploration and several reforms in the atomic sector.

READ | Amit Shah meets MHA officials ahead of announcement of lockdown 4.0 guidelines

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