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Day 5 Atmanirbhar Bharat: FM Focus On Ease Of Doing Business To PSU Shake-Up To Increased Borrowing Limits For States

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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman On Sunday announced the last tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package unveiled by the prime minister Narendra Modi to lift the country out of the economic mess and mayhem caused by coronavirus pandemic. 

The focus of the FM’s address was spread over seven key areas:  the MNREGA scheme, rural and urban health and education, business and COVID-19, decriminalization of Companies Act, ease of doing businesses, public sector enterprise-related and state government and resources for state government.

She told the media that the Nation is at a very crucial juncture and an Atmanirbhar Bharat is need of the hour. She then went on to detail the measures that have been taken by the Government till now. 

a) Garib Kalyan used the technology available to do direct cash transfer to the beneficiaries. Land, labour, liquidity & law have been our focus.

b) Government has committed Rs. 15,000 crore for health related measures so far for containment of COVID19 which includes Rs 50 lakh insurance per person for health professionals under Pradhan Mantri Gram Kalyan Yojna.

c) One-time transfer of Rs 2000 each has reached about 8.19 crore farmers. Around 2.20 crore Construction workers have received a financial support amounting to Rs 3950.35 crores.

d) More than 12 lakh EPFO members have been benefited by the online withdrawal of non-refundable advance amounting to Rs 3660 crores.  The Central Govt paid the cost of travel of 85% of the migrants’ travel and food was provided to them in the trains.

e) Government has ensured Education of students does not suffer. SWAYAM PRABHA DTH channels have reached those who do not have access to the internet were started to support and reach those who don’t have access to internet and DIKSHA platform has had 61 crore hits from 24th March. Provisions were made for telecast of live interactive sessions on these channels through skype. 

First reform under MGNREGS: Rs 40,000 crores will be increased in allocation for MGNREGS to provide employment boost, which will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total.

Education Reforms-  Technology Driven Education with equity will be promoted post COVID. A programme for multi-mode access to digital value education will be launched, an initiative for psychological support for students, teachers and families will also be started.

PM E-Vidya Programme for multi-mode access to digital online education to be launched immediately. Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30th May. This consists of DIKSHA which will provide 1 nation 1 digital platform facility. There’ll be a dedicated channel for class I to XII.

Reforms for Companies by Decriminalisation of Companies Act : Default involving minor technical and procrdural defaults will be decriminalised through amendments, which will de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT. 7 compoundable offences will be dropped, and 5 will be dealt under alternate framework.

Reforms for Businesses: Businesses will be eased through IBC related measures, special insolvency resolution framework for MSMEs will be started soon, and fresh initiation of insolvency proceeding up to one year will be suspended.

Further key reforms for Ease of Doing Business are in the pipeline including  direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions. Government has also announced suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year and has also decided to exclude COVID 19 related debt from the definition of “default” under IBC. 

Reforms for public sector enterprises : Public Sector Enterprise Policy will be announced for a new, self-reliant India. In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed and in other sectors, PSEs will be privatized.

Support to be extended to the States : Centre has decided to accept the request by States for special increase in borrowing. The borrowing limits of States is being raised from 3% to 5%, for 2020-21 only. To promote State level reforms, part of the borrowing will be linked to specific reforms like increasing job creation through investment and promoting urban development, health and sanitation.

-India Legal Bureau

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