Fifth tranche details of the economic relief package announced by Nirmala Sitharaman. FM unveiled the details of the last phase of the 20 crore package targeting education, health, employment, business, and PSUs.
Fifth Tranche Details
To address the need for work of migrants, the government has decided to allocate an additional Rs 40,000 crore to the MGNREGA. The budget for this scheme was Rs 61,000 crore. Nirmala Sitharaman said that the stimulus would generate employment for about 300 crores more person-days of work.
The finance minister announced that the government would ramp up the expenditure on the ground level health infrastructure at both rural and urban levels. The government will work on the establishment of infectious disease hospital blocks. In addition, public health labs will be set up at block levels.
Nirmala Sitharaman spoke about the immediate launch of the PM e-VIDYA program for multi-mode access to digital and online education. Besides, the government will work on efficient learning via digital tools like a TV channel, radio, community radio, and podcasts, special e-content for the visually and hearing-impaired students.
Further, she informed that around 100 top universities would start online courses by May 30. She announced an initiative called Manodarpan for extending psycho-social support to students, teachers, and families. Also, she stated the launch of National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission by December 2020 to ensure that every child attains learning levels in grade 5 by 2025.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code
Nirmala Sitharaman announced the suspension of fresh insolvency proceedings up to 1 year. Also, she notified the exclusion of debts related to COVID-19 from defaults under IBC. Further, she confirmed that the government intends to extend the present MCA by another six months. Besides, the government will notify a unique insolvency framework under section 240-A of the IBC. Under this, the government has increased the minimum threshold for filing insolvency proceedings to Rs 1 crore from the earlier Rs 1 lakh, insulating MSMEs.
Decriminalization in Companies Act
For de-clogging the criminal courts and CLTs, the government has decided to decriminalize offences under the Companies Act. This will include minor technical and procedural defaults such as shortcomings in CSR reporting, inadequacies in Board report, filing defaults amendment.
Ease of Doing Business
The government has permitted public companies for direct listing of securities in permissible foreign jurisdictions. If companies list their non-convertible debentures (NCDs) in the stock market, they do not qualify as listed companies. Also, there will be lower penalties for all defaults for small companies, start-ups, and one-person companies.
Public Sector Enterprise Policy
The government will soon release a list of strategic sectors and others. It will notify the sectors which require the presence of public sector enterprises. The strategic sector will allow the entry of the private sector; however, one will remain a public sector enterprise. Also, the government will privatize/merge/bring the other industries under holding companies to minimize administrative costs.
Support to the State Government
The Central Government has decided to increase the borrowing limits of States from 3% to 5% for 2020-21 only. The borrowings will be linked to specific reforms. While up to 3%, it will be unconditional, up to 4.5% it will be released in four tranches. The rest will be given once the three conditions are fulfilled.
In all, the government has covered almost every sector in the fifth tranche. Now, it is to see how efficiently their implementation takes place.