Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, 13 May, announced six relief measures for MSMEs including several categories of collateral free loans, raised investment limits for micro enterprises and relief measures for taxpayers and real estate as a part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ package announced by PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
Here are the announcements made by the Finance Minister:
- Collateral-free automatic loans to standard MSMEs worth Rs 3 lakh crore with a four-year tenure, valid up to 31 October 2020
- Government to provide stressed MSMEs with equity support by facilitating the provision of Rs 20,000 crores as subordinate debt
- Rs 50,000 crore equity infusion for MSMEs through Fund of Funds to be operated through a mother fund and few daughter funds to help expand MSME size as well as capacity
- Definition of MSMEs has been revised and an additional criteria of turnover has been introduced. Investment of Rs 1 crore and/or turnover of Rs 5 crore will now be classified as micro enterprises
- Global tenders to be disallowed in government procurement up to Rs 200 crore
- "Government of India and Central Public Sector Enterprises to honour every MSME receivable in the next 45 days,” Sitharaman said
- Government decides to continue EPF support for business and workers for three more months, providing a liquidity relief of Rs 2,500 crore
- In order to provide more take home salary for employees and to give relief to employers in payment of PF, EPF contribution is being reduced for businesses & workers for three more months, amounting to liquidity support of Rs 6,750 crore
- Government launched a Rs 30,000 crore Special Liquidity Scheme for non-banking financial companies, microfinance companies, housing finance companies
- The government announced Rs 45,000 crore liquidity infusion through a Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for NBFCs
- Date of real estate projects under RERA extended, COVID-19 to be treated as an event of ‘Force Majeure’ under RERA
- Government reduces TDS/TCS rates by 25 percent till 31 March 2021
- Due date of all income-tax returns for FY 2019-20 has been extended from 31 July 2020 & 31 October 2020 to 30 November 2020
Atmanirbhar (self-reliant) India does not mean India is to be an isolationist country, Sitharaman said during the briefing.
PM Modi had announced the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan' – an economic relief package worth Rs 20 lakh crore for a ‘self-reliant’ India. He said that the package, estimated to be around 10 percent of the GDP, is intended to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
After PM Modi’s speech yesterday, Sitharaman took to Twitter and said, “Indian economy has acquired strength in its various dimensions. Now, we can confidently engage with the world. We aim at overall transformation and not incremental changes. We shall convert the pandemic challenge into an opportunity. #AatmanirbharBharat will integrate not isolate.”
Following the press conference by Sitharaman, Former Finance Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram addressed the media at 5:30 pm the same day.