NEW DELHI: To help the revival of the economy battered by COVID-19, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a slew of measures, including Rs 1.1 lakh crore credit guarantee scheme for improving health infrastructure, and enhancing the limit under the ECLGS by 50 per cent to Rs 4.5 lakh crore for the MSME sector facing a liquidity crunch.
Sharing the details of the stimulus package, the finance minister said this comprises eight relief measures and other eight measures to support the economic growth.
She announced Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for COVID-affected sectors, including the health sector, which includes guarantee cover for expansion or for new projects.
Besides, she said, additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore limit enhancement done for Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) scheme.
The existing limit for the ECLGS scheme, announced as part of Rs 20-lakh crore Atmanirbhar Bharat Abiyan package in May 2020, was Rs 3 lakh crore.
Last month, the finance ministry expanded the scope of the Rs 3 lakh crore ECLGS by including concessional loans to hospitals for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants.
Besides, the validity of the scheme was extended by three months to September 30 and or till guarantees for an amount of Rs 3 lakh crore are issued.
The last date of disbursement under the scheme has been extended to December 31. Under the ECLGS 4.0, 100 per cent guarantee cover was given to loans up to Rs 2 crore to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, medical colleges for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants.
The interest rate on these loans has been capped at 7.5 per cent, which means the banks can offer loans less than this ceiling.
Announcing measures to revive the tourism sector battered by Covid-19, Sitharaman said financial support would be provided to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides, travel and tourism stakeholders.
She said once the visa issuance for international travel is restarted, the first five lakh tourists will be issued visas free of charge. The total financial implication of this measure would be Rs 100 crore.
The scheme would be applicable till March 31, 2022, or till 5 lakh visas are issued, whichever is earlier. This would incentivise short-term tourists visiting India, she said.
The government will also provide working capital or personal loans to people in the tourism sector to discharge liabilities or restart businesses impacted due to Covid-19.
Loans will be provided with 100 per cent guarantee with a limit of Rs 10 lakh for travel and tourism stakeholders and Rs 1 lakh for registered tourist guides.
Sitharaman further said that Rs 23,220 crore more will be provided for public health. This would have special focus on short-term emergency preparedness with special emphasis on children/paediatric care/paediatric beds. The measures are part of a slew of announcements made by the finance minister on Monday for economic revival.