The Centre's stimulus package to the COVID affected sectors like health, agriculture, MSME and tourism will boost employment and strengthen the economy, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday.
"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman ji has announced a stimulus package to provide economic relief to the health, agriculture, MSME and tourism sectors that are affected by COVID. This will increase employment and strengthen the economy," tweeted the Home Minister.
"Under the leadership of Modi ji, the central government always stood with the people of the country as a sensitive government. Even in this COVID period, every possible work was done to give relief to the public, be it to become a world leader in providing free COVID vaccine to every citizen or to help the COVID affected people," added Shah.
The Centre on Monday announced Credit Guarantee Scheme to facilitate new lending among the smallest borrowers and stated that this includes the 'stressed borrowers'.While addressing a press conference here on Monday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Under the Credit Guarantee Scheme we aim to reach out to 25 lakh people who are absolutely small borrowers. Loan to be given to the smallest borrowers by Microfinance Institutions. A maximum Rs 1.25 lakhs amount to be lent."
"The interest rate under the new Credit Guarantee Scheme is 2 per cent below RBI prescribed rate, with a loan duration of 3 years," the Union Finance Minister stated."The focus will be on new lending and not on repayment of the old loans. Stressed borrowers except NPAs to be covered under the new Scheme," she said.
During the press conference, a Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for COVID-affected sectors was also announced. Of this, Rs 50,000 crore has been allocated to the health sector and Rs 60,000 crore for other sectors.
Sitharaman said, "We are announcing about eight economic relief measures, of which four are absolutely new and one is specific to health infrastructure. For COVID-affected areas, Rs 1.1 lakh crores credit guarantee scheme and Rs 50,000 crores for health sector."
Additionally, with an aim to provide further economic relief to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre on Monday expanded the financial support being provided under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) by Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
As part of efforts to revive the tourism sector which has been hit hard due to COVID-19, the Finance Minister announced some measures including free tourist visas to the first five lakh tourists.
She said financial support will be provided to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides and travel and tourism stakeholders.