An increased borrowing by states, an additional allocation of Rs 40,000 crore for MNGREGA workers and the inclusion of private players in public sectors were among the seven announcements made by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as part of the last tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore COVID package on Sunday.
While addressing reporters this morning, the minister also said “debts related to the virus will be excluded from default under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code”. No fresh insolvency proceedings will be registered for a year, she added. The minister also said that during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Rs 16,394 crore has been paid to 8.19 crore farmers under the Rs 2,000 free cash dole scheme of PM Kisan.
On Saturday, Sitharaman unveiled the fourth set of the economic package for eight sectors — coal, minerals, defence production, civil aviation, power distribution, social infrastructure, space and atomic energy. Prior to Saturday’s announcements, Sitharaman had announced relief measures for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), migrant labourers, farmers and street vendors, and the agriculture sector and allied activities. A third reform announcement, complementary to the first two, was the creation of a “facilitative legal framework” for contract farming.