By Hardik Rajgor May. 13, 2020
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dived into the details of the ₹20 lakh crore economic package, through a set of 15 measures. These include collateral-free loans for MSMEs, a reduction in EPF for three months, increasing take-home salaries, and yes, an extension on filing of income tax returns.
A day after Prime Minister Modi addressed the country through his favourite 8 pm slot and introduced the word “atmanirbhar” to our vocabulary, it was time for Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to dive into the details of the mega ₹20 lakh crore economic package. The finance minister began her address by translating the word “atmanirbhar” into Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada for those from South India who might not know what it means.
"I know coming from South India, a lot of people wondered what it actually meant." Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on the Hindi word "atmanirbhar" (self-reliant) used repeatedly by the Prime Minister last night. She translates it into Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada.
— Joanna Slater (@jslaternyc) May 13, 2020
In the first of multiple briefings, Nirmala Sitharaman announced a set of 15 measures: Six of these deal with MSMEs; two each are related to EPF and NBFCs, housing finance corporations, and MFIs; one each on discoms, contractors, and real estate; and three on tax measures. The announcements heavily focused on the MSME sector, and it began with a revision of the definition for MSME itself.
Imp change. Definition of MSME now changed. pic.twitter.com/nKufaEMTQF
— Sanket संकेत (@sanket) May 13, 2020
Measures for the MSME sectors included:
- Collateral-free loan for MSMEs upto ₹3 lakh crore.
- ₹20,000 debt programme for stressed MSMEs.
- Fund of funds with corpus of ₹50,000 crore for equity infusion in MSMEs.
- Global tenders to be disallowed for government procurement for tenders upto ₹200 crore.
- All MSME receivables to be cleared by Government/CPSEs within the next 45 days.
- Revision of definition of MSMEs.
— NDTV (@ndtv) May 13, 2020
The Finance Minister provided liquidity relief for provident fund, announcing that the government would pay EPF contribution for June-August, set to benefit 72 lakh employees. The statutory PF contribution was reduced from 12% to 10% while central and state PSUs will continue at 12%. Employees would be given the benefit of paying only 10%. This will increase take-home salaries.
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) May 13, 2020
In the next set of measures for NBFCs, the finance minister announced a ₹30,000 crore special liquidity scheme to buy investment-grade securities of NBFCs fully guaranteed by Government of India and a ₹45,000 crore partial credit guarantee scheme.
— BJP (@BJP4India) May 13, 2020
Liquidity of ₹90,000 crore is set to be given to DISCOMS against their receivables so that they can pay for the power they have purchased. This is set to help the cash-strapped DISCOMS.
Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation will infuse liquidity in the DISCOMS to the extent of Rs 90,000 crores in two equal instalments: Smt @nsitharaman #AatmaNirbharBharatAbhiyan pic.twitter.com/gYV88QEaGa
— NSitharamanOffice (@nsitharamanoffc) May 13, 2020
All contractors to central agencies like railways, road ministry, central public works department can be given an extension of up to six months without any additional costs. This covers construction works and goods and services contracts.
In a major relief to contractors, all Central agencies to provide an extension of up to 6 months, without cost to contractor, to obligations like completion of work covering construction and goods and services contracts. #AatmaNirbharBharatAbhiyan pic.twitter.com/bR2CShuddl
— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) May 13, 2020
In a much-awaited announcement, the Finance Minister provided relief in relation to filing of income tax returns, extending the due date of all income tax returns for FY20 to November 30, 2020 from July 31 and October 31 earlier. Due date for tax audit has been extended to October 31 from September 31 earlier.
— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) May 13, 2020
The finance minister is set to address more press briefings over the coming days, covering a host of sectors, and has warned everyone that they’ll be hearing the word “atmanirbhar” a lot from her, as India forms its economic revival plan around self-reliance.