Hailing PM Modi as a great reformer, FM revealed another set of measures focusing mainly on structural reforms. The complete details of the economic package 4th tranche announced by Nirmala Sitharaman.
Coal and Mineral Mining
The centre has decided to remove governmental monopoly from the mining of the coal sector. Also, it would provide Rs 50,000-crore support for related infrastructure along the lines of 4th tranche. Mentioning the abundance of coal in India, she said that coalbed methane would also be auctioned.
For efficient mining, the government is planning to do away with the distinction between captive and non-captive mines. This will support mining leases and the sale of unused surplus minerals. Further, it will auction 500 blocks of minerals through a seamless composite exploration-cum-production regime. Also, as a part of the economic package, the government will jointly auction bauxite and coal mineral blocks to enhance the aluminium industry’s competitiveness.
The government has increased the FDI limit in Defence manufacturing from 49% to 74% through automatic route. Besides, the government will release a list of weapons/platforms banned for imports, which will be subject to addition every year. Also, it will conduct separate budget provisioning for domestic capital procurement in consultation with the Department of Military Affairs.
The government will ease restrictions on the utilisation of Indian airspace so that civilian aviation becomes more efficient. While discussing the highlights of 4th Tranche, she said that the Indian airlines only used 40% of India’s airspace and uses longer routes. For this, she said that six more airports are now up for auction under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model. The utilisation of the country’s air space will lead to the benefit of Rs 1,000 crore every year.
Power Distribution Sector
Nirmala Sitharaman announced the privatisation of electricity distribution firms in UTs to improve operational and financial efficiency. Besides, it will be in line with the tariff policy, which will have reforms related to consumer rights, promotion of industry, and sustainability of the sector.
Social-Infrastructure Projects in 4th Tranche
The Finance Minister announced Rs 8,100-crore Viability Gap Funding scheme to meet the urgent requirement for social infrastructure in India. The centre will give 30% VGF, increasing the quantum by 10%.
The government encouraged the private sector in satellites, launches, and space-based services. They will be allowed to use ISRO’s facilities for improving their capabilities. Also, planetary exploration and outer space travel have been opened for private companies.
The government will establish facilities for affordable treatment of cancer also, food preservation under PPP mode. In addition, it will link India’s robust startup ecosystem to the nuclear sector to advance teamwork between research facilities and tech entrepreneurs.
In all, the latest economic package under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan in the 4th tranche will focus on reviving the economy post the pandemic.