The finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for the covid-affected sectors at a time when the economy has been ravaged by the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The finance minister has also announced an additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) that was launched as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat package last year.
Nirmala Sitharaman has announced Rs 100 crore loan to the health sector at the rate of 7.95 per cent as India braces for a possible third wave of the rampaging virus.
Among other measures, Ms Sitharaman announced widening of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme, under which collateral-free loan given to MSMEs. Ms Sitharaman also announced a new scheme to give up to Rs 1.25 lakh loan to 25 lakh small borrowers at lower interest rates and promised support to the tourism sector in the form of a Rs 10 lakh loan to travel agencies and Rs 1 lakh loan to tourist guides.
Meanwhile, India reported 46,148 new Covid19 cases and 979 deaths on Sunday, according to the Health Ministry. The daily death count has dropped below the 1,000 mark for the first time since April 12.
The government has announced several measures since the beginning of the covid pandemic, including the first stimulus package called Aatmnirbhar Bharat in May last year. That package had included monetary and fiscal support worth Rs 21 lakh crore, which the government had said was equivalent to 10 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.
This measures unveiled by the Finance Minister assumes significance in the backdrop of the RBI’s estimate in its monthly bulletin for June 2021 that the second Covid wave may result in a loss of Rs 2 lakh crore during the current financial year as region-specific containment measures and the virus’ spread into smaller cities and villages sapped rural demand.
As per the gross domestic product (GDP) estimates government released earlier this month, the economy contracted by 7.3 per cent in financial year 2020-21,