Honorable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on 12/05/2020, announced a Fiscal Stimulation package of Rs. 20 Lakh Crores and named it “Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,” which means Self-reliant India Movement. This Package roughly amounts to 10% of India’s GDP, making the package place among the most substantial in the world after the financial packages announced by the US (13%) and Japan (21%). Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat does not mean an isolated India, but to build a self –reliant and confident India, which can rest on its strengths and also be able to contribute globally. He also announced his vision for the New Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. He also added that the five pillars of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat are Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography, and Demand.
Honorable Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitaraman announced various economic reliefs on 13/04/2020. She also added that the Prime Minister always believed in reforms to accelerate development in India. Some of these reform-driven schemes include DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) based reforms are PM Aawas Yojana, Ujjwala Bharat, Swatch Bharat, Aayushman Bharat, etc.
She also added that the Government was successful in delivering value to the people during the crisis time, and some of the facts are as below:
· The Government has deposited Rs.52,606 crores into the DBT accounts of 41 crores Jan-Dhan Bank Account holders.
· Pulses transfer worth 18,000 crores have been made. 48 lakh Metric Tons of rice and wheat were distributed to 69 crore ration cardholders.
· 71,738 Metric tons of pulses were distributed to 6.25 crore cardholders and non-card holders.
· 18,000 crores of refunds were made to Income taxpayers through a special drive, and also drawbacks were settled to increase liquidity in the economy, which benefited 14 Lakh taxpayers.
She also announced various measures as part of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, which are as below:
Measures Relating to MSMEs
1. Rs. 3 Lakh Crore Collateral Free Automatic Loans to Businesses, including MSMEs (Standard MSMEs):
· Emergency credit line to Businesses/MSMEs from Banks and NBFCs upto 20% of entire outstanding credit as on 29.02.2020
· Borrowers with upto 25 crore outstanding and Rs. 100 crore turnover is eligible.
· Loans to have 4-year tenure with a Moratorium period of 12 months on principal payment.
· Interest will be capped
· 100% credit guarantee cover to Banks and NBFCs on principal and Interest
· No guarantee fees and no fresh collateral required
· 45 lakh units will be benefited by resuming their business and safeguarding jobs
· This scheme can be availed till 31.10.2020
Our View: Business entities that are having limited cash flow that too directly linked to sales, generally shall not have a working capital reserve. These kinds of entities shall benefit from this scheme. As they generally avail banking facilities for their working capital requirement, this benefit is linked to their loan outstanding amount as on 28th February 2020. Unfortunately, this is of no support to those businesses which do not have any loan outstanding as on 29th February 2020.
2. A subordinate debt of Rs. 20,000 crores for stressed MSMEs
As stressed MSMEs need support in the form of equity, the Government of India will facilitate them with the provision of Rs. 20,000 crore as subordinate debts. Two lakh MSMEs are likely to be benefited from this scheme. Only Functioning MSMEs whichever has NPA or are stressed will be eligible for this scheme.
Our View: MSMEs who so ever have not been able to repay the EMIs for 0-90 days are considered as stressed MSME, and they are eligible to avail of this benefit. However, looking at the current scenario where most of the Guarantee Trusts and Promoters are not certain about the economy and new venture, finding those and negotiation will be difficult; also, the Government is yet to come with support policy to such financers.
3. Rs 50,000 cr. Equity Fusion for MSMEs through Fund of Funds:
This fund helps MSMEs which may be viable and who needs funds because of the situation
· Fund of the fund with a corpus of Rs 10,000 crores will be set up.
· MSMEs with growth potential and viability will be provided with equity funding
· Fund of Fund will be operated through Mother Fund and few daughter funds
· Fund structure will help leverage Rs 50,000 cr. of funds at daughter level funds
· This will encourage MSMEs to get listed on the stock exchange.
Our View: In the current scenario showing the viability itself is the biggest issue. Also, we need to wait till clear procedure for claiming the benefit to be laid down on and even for agencies to be identified for equity infusion. However, this seems to be a better scheme than others, as this is talking about direct funding and support to the business.
4. The new definition of MSMEs:
This is a major decision taken by the Government to cater to the long-pending demands for revising definition. This will help the MSMEs, which are at the edge of threshold limits, and have a fear of outgrowing the definition of MSMEs. This makes them remain within the definition of MSMEs and enjoy the benefits of MSMEs.
· Investment limit will be revised upwards
· Additional criteria for turnover is also being introduced
· The distinction between Manufacturing and service sector is eliminated.
Our View: This is a good move from the Government to make more business entities to fall under the category of beneficiaries under MSMEs. This will allow a few of them to avail of various benefits that were otherwise not available to them.
5. Global Tenders to be disallowed up to Rs. 200 cr.
· This measure encourages participation of small units that were serving as ancillary units earlier and faced unfair competition from foreign companies to participate directly in the tenders.
· This will be a step towards self-reliant India and Make in India campaign.
· Necessary amendments of General Financial rules will be affected.
· This will also help MSMEs to increase their business.
Our View: This is a good move from the Government to make domestic business entities only to be eligible to participate in these kinds of tenders.
6. Other Interventions for MSMEs:
Apart from the above measures, the below measures will also be taken for facilitating the smooth functioning of MSMEs:
· Vendors in trade fares and Exhibitions are facing a severe problem due to lockdown. An E-marketing linkage for MSMEs to be promoted to act as a replacement for trade fares and exhibitions
· Fintech will be used to enhance transaction-based lending using data generated by the E-Marketplace.
· Settlement of dues to MSME vendors from Government and public sector undertakings.
· MSME receivables from Government and CPSEs will be released in 45 days.
Our View: These are the measures to ease the business environment. We don’t consider them as part of the relief package. Getting their receivable is a right and not definitely not a relief.
EMPLOYEE PROVIDENT FUND RELATED RELIEFS
7. Rs. 2500 crore EPF support for business & workers for three more months:
· This scheme is applicable for establishments with < 100 employees, and 90% of the employees should be drawing < Rs.15,000.
· Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP), payment of 12% of employer and 12% employee contributions was made into EPF accounts of eligible establishments for the salary months of March, April and May.
· This support will be extended by another three months to the salary months of June, July, and August 2020.
Our View: This is a welcoming move of the Government of India and will support many small businesses and workers in the form of liquid funds and also facilitate easy compliance by small business entities.
8. EPF contribution reduced for Business & Workers for 3 Months:
· Statutory PF contribution of both employer and employee will be reduced to 10% each from the existing 12% for all establishments covered by EPFO and but not covered under the above scheme for the next three months.
· CPSEs and state PSUs will, however, continue to contribute 12% as employer contributions.
Our View: This will allow getting additional funds in the hands of employees, of-course this is not providing any benefit to employers as they will be paying the same money in the form of salary to employees.
INCOME TAX RELATED RELIEFS
9. INCOME TAX RELATED MEASURES:
· Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) for non–salaried specified payments made to residents and rates of Tax Collected at Source (TCS) for the specified receipts shall be reduced by 25% of the existing rates. This will increase liquidity in the economy.
· This reduced rate shall be applicable from 14/05 2020 to 31/03/2021.
· All pending refunds to charitable trusts and non-corporate businesses and professions, including proprietorship, partnership, LLP, and Co-operatives, shall be issued immediately.
· Due dates of all income tax returns for FY 2019-20 will be extended from 31st July 2020 & 31st October 2020 to 30th November 2020.
· The Tax Audit due date will be extended from 30th September 2020 to 31st October 2020.
· Dates of Assessments getting barred on 30th September 2020 will be extended to 31st December 2020, and those getting barred on 31st March 2021 will be extended to 30th September 2021.
· Period of Vivad se Vishwas Scheme for making payment without additional amount will be extended to 31st December 2020.
Our View: Looking at the current situation, it was expected to extend all due dates and to reduce the TDS rates. Therefore, this is a welcome move and should be considered to be helpful for those who comply with the statutory requirement regularly. Just as people got benefitted by Sabka ka Vishwas scheme for service tax-related cases, the Vivad se Vishwas scheme is also going to play a fair role.
10. Rs. 30,000 cr. Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs:
· The Government will launch a Rs. 30,000 crore special liquidity scheme
· The investment will be made in both primary and secondary market transactions in investment-grade debt paper of NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs
· GOI will fully guarantee securities.
Our View: All NBFCs/HFCs/MFIs are celebrating this move, as they are facing liquidity issues and the requirement of funds due to the non-recovery of EMIs from Loans. However, we need to wait and watch to understand how banks will be able to fund this when they are facing the issues due to extended moratorium as instructed by GOI.
11. Rs. 45,000 crore Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for NBFCs
· Existing PCGS scheme to be extended to cover borrowings such as primary issuance of Bonds/CPs (liability side of the balance sheet) of such entities
· First, 20% of the loss will be borne by the Guarantor i.e., Government of India.
· AA-rated paper and below, including unrated paper eligible for investment.
Our View: This move is also welcomed by NBFCs as their partial loss will be borne by GOI, considering the current economic situation this is again a welcome move by GOI and will support NBFCs at the time when they are starving for cash.
12. Rs. 90,000 cr. Liquidity Injection for DISCOMs:
· This scheme is intended to solve the unprecedented cash flow problem faced by DISCOMs by demand reduction
· Loans will be given state guarantees for the exclusive purpose of discharging liabilities of DISCOMs to Gencos again.
· Digital payment facility by DISCOMs to customers, liquidation of outstanding dues of state governments, plan to reduce financial and operational losses.
Our View: According to us, this is to support Government Electricity Companies and also bigger private electricity companies which are facing an immediate cash crunch. However, once things are expected to come back to normalcy, these companies need to repay the same to the Government, which may force to increase the unit price to generate revenue at that point in time.
13. Relief to Contractors:
· Extension of upto six months (without costs to the contractor) to be provided by all central agencies like Railways, Ministry of Road and Transport & Highways, Central Public Works Dept, etc.
· The extension covers construction/works and goods service contracts
· Covers obligations like completion of work, intermediate milestones, etc., and extension of concession period in PPP contracts
· Government agencies to partially release bank guarantees to the extent of partial completion of contracts, to ease cash flow.
Our View: Due to the non-availability of laborers and also raw materials, it was already expected to extend these dates. Hence this is a welcome move.
14. Extension of Registration and Completion Date of Real Estate Projects under RERA:
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will advise States/UTs and their Regulatory Authorities to the following effect:
· Treat COVID-19 as an event of “FORCE MAJEURE” under RERA
· Extend the Registration and completion date Suo-moto by six months for all registered projects expiring on or after 25th March 2020 without individual applications
· Regulatory authorities may extend this for another period of 3 months if needed
· Issue Fresh project registration certificates automatically with revised timelines
· Extend timelines for various statutory compliances under RERA concurrently.
Our View: Welcome move.
Second Tranche has relief to Poor, including migrants and farmers:
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the second Tranche aimed at the small farmers, migrant workers, street vendors, and affordable housing.
Ø 3 Crore marginal farmers availed loans at a concessional rate. These 3 Crore farmers have already availed the loans of Rs 4.22 Lakh crore and availed the benefit of 3 months loan moratorium.
Ø Interest Subvention and Prompt Repayment Incentive on crop loans, due from 1st March, extended up to 31st May 2020 and 25 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards sanctioned with a loan limit of Rs. 25,000 cr.
Ø To support the migrant workers for shelter and food, Central govt has released Rs. 11,002 crore in advance to the states to augment the SDRF funds.
Ø 12,000 Shelters for Urban Homeless (SUH) have produced three crore masks and 1.20 lakh liters of sanitizers.
A total of nine steps have been announced:
1. Free food Grains:
Ø For migrants who are neither holding NFSA nor State card beneficiaries in the state will be provided 5 kg of grains per person & 1 kg Chana per family per month for two months.
2. One Nation One Ration Card
Ø Migrant families are not able to access food distributed through ration in other states. So, to enable migrant workers, a single ration card will be issued to access the Public Distribution System (Ration) from any Fair Price Shop in India by March 2021.
3. Rental accommodation:
Ø Under PM Awas Yojana, the Government will launch a scheme for migrant workers providing rental housing at an affordable rent to provide ease of living for migrant workers.
4. MUDRA-Shishu Loans
Ø The Government of India will give an Interest subvention of 2% for prompt payees for a period of 12 months after the end of the RBI loan moratorium.
5. Street Vendor:
Ø The Government of India will launch a special scheme within a month for street vendors to avail loan facility worth Rs. 5,000 crore. For street vendors, an initial working capital of up to 10,000 will be provided.
6. Affordable Housing:
Ø The Government of India will extend the benefits for Middle Income Group having an annual income of Rs 6–18 lakhs under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) up to 31st March 2021. This leads to the boost of new investments worth Rs 70,000 crore in the sectors of housing like steel, cement, and create many jobs.
7. for Tribal:
Ø To create job opportunities for our citizens, new schemes will be approved under Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA).
Ø This will create job opportunities in urban, semi-urban, and rural areas for tribal people/Adivasis.
For Small/Marginal Farmers:
8. An additional emergency working capital funding will be provided through NABARD for farmers to meet post-harvest (Rabi) & current Kharif requirement in May/June amount to Rs 30,000 crores.
9. To provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards, a special drive has taken, and in this, Fishermen and Animal Husbandry farmers will be included. Because of this 2.5 crore, farmers will be benefited from the credit flow of about Rs 2 lakh crores.
Our View: It looks like Day-2 announcements were elaborated explanation of several old schemes added with new beneficiary classes like street vendors.
Also, schemes announced under this category involves a lot of administrative control by authorities. This makes schemes not viable for effective implementation at this point in time as these sectors need immediate support.
Most of these schemes are old ones and are also ongoing schemes. Few are just renamed, and few are just change in policy and published.
The third round of announcements is mainly related to Agriculture and Allied activities.
Measures were taken by the Government during the lockdown:
Measures related to Agriculture:
Ø 74,300 crores worth purchases were based on the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Ø 18,700 crores were transferred directly to the bank accounts of farmers under the scheme PM Kissan Samman.
Ø PM Fasal Bima Yojana claims were cleared to the extent of 6,400 crores.
Measures related to Animal Husbandry:
Ø A new scheme was introduced to provide Interest Subvention @2% per annum to dairy co-operatives for 20-21. Additional 2% p.a interest subvention on prompt payment/interest servicing.
Measures related to Fisheries:
Ø The validity of sanitary Import Permits (SIPs) for import of shrimp Broodstock extended by three months
Ø Condoned delay up to 1 month in the arrival of Broodstock consignments
Ø Allowed rebooking of Quarantine cubicles for canceled consignment with no additional charges
Ø Verification of documents and grant of NOC for quarantine relaxed from 7days to 3 days
Ø Registration of 242 Registered Shrimp Hatcheries and Nauplii Rearing Hatcheries expiring on 31.03.2020 extended for three months
Ø Operations of Marine Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture relaxed to cover Inland Fisheries.
Highlights of DAY-3 Announcements:
1. Rs. 1lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund for farm-gate infrastructure for farmers:
Ø Financing facility of Rs. 1,00,000 crores will be provided for funding Agriculture infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregation points (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producer Organizations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, Startups, etc.)
Ø The impetus for the development of farm-gate & aggregation point, affordable and financially viable Post Harvest Management Infrastructure.
2. Rs. 10,000 crores scheme for Formalization of Micro Food Enterprises (MFE):
Ø This scheme promotes a vision of Honorable PM: “Vocal for Local with Global outreach.”
Ø Existing micro food enterprises, Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Co-operatives to be supported.
Ø Cluster-based approach (Eg. Mango in UP, Kesar in J&K, Bamboo Shoots in North-East, Chilli in Andhra Pradesh, Tapioca in Tamil Nadu, etc.)
Ø The expected outcomes of the scheme are improved health and safety standards, integration with retail markets, improved incomes.
3. Rs. 20,000 crores for Fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY):
Ø The Government will launch PMMSY for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland Fisheries.
Ø Rs. 11,000 crores allocated for activities in Marine, Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture
Ø Rs. 9,000 crores allocated for Infrastructure – Fishing Harbors, Cold chain, Markets, etc.
Ø Provisions of Ban period support to fishermen, Personal and Boat Insurance
Ø Cage Culture, Seaweed Farming, Ornamental Fisheries as well as New Fishing vessels, Traceability, Laboratory Network, etc. will be key activities under the scheme.
4. National Animal Disease Control Program:
Ø National Animal Disease control program for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis launched with a total outlay of RS. 13,343 crores.
Ø It ensures 100% vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, and pig population (total 53 crore animals) for FMD and brucellosis.
5. Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund – Rs. 15,000 crores:
Ø Aim to support private investment in Dairy processing, value addition, and cattle feed infrastructure.
Ø Incentives to be given for establishing plants for the export of niche products.
6. Rs. 4,000 crores for promotion of Herbal Cultivation:
Ø National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) has supported 2.25 Lac hectares area under the cultivation of medicinal plants.
Ø 10 Lac hectares will be covered under herbal cultivation in the next two years with an outlay of Rs. 4,000 crores
Ø NMPB will bring 800 hectares area by developing a corridor of medicinal plants along the banks of Ganga.
7. Bee Keeping Initiatives – Rs. 500 crores
The Government will implement a scheme for:
Ø Infrastructure development related to Integrated Bee Keeping Development centers, Collection, Marketing and Storage centers, Post-Harvest & value addition facilities, etc.
Ø Implementation of standards and developing a traceability system
Ø Capacity building with thrust on women
Ø Development of quality nucleus stock and bee breeders.
8. From ‘TOP’ to TOTAL – Rs. 500 crores:
Ø Operation Greens will be extended from Tomatoes, Onions, and Potatoes (TOP) to All Fruits and Vegetables (TOTAL).
Ø Scheme features will be as follows:
Ø 50% subsidy on transportation from surplus to deficiency markets
Ø 50% subsidy on storage, including cold storages
Ø The pilot for six months – will be expanded and extended
9. Amendments to the Essential Commodities Act to enable better price realization for farmers:
Ø Agriculture foodstuffs including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potatoes to be deregulated
Ø Stock limit to be imposed under very exceptional circumstances like national calamities, famine with the surge in prices
Ø No such stock limit shall apply to processors or value chain participants, subject to their installed capacity or any exporter subject to the export demand.
Ø The Government will amend the Essential Commodities Act.
10. Agriculture Marketing Reforms to provide marketing choices to farmers:
Ø Farmers bound to sell agriculture produce only to Licensees in APMCs
Ø Such restriction of sale is not there for any industrial produce
Ø This results in Hindrances in the free flow of Agricultural Produce and Fragmentation of Markets and Supply Chain
Ø Less price realization for farmers
A central law will be formulated to provide:
Ø Adequate choices to the farmer to sell produce at an attractive price
Ø Barrier-free Inter-State Trade
Ø Framework for e-trading of agricultural produce
11. Agriculture Produce Price and Quality Assurance:
Ø The facilitative legal framework will be created to enable farmers for engaging with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters, etc., in a fair and transparent manner
Ø Risk Mitigation for farmers assured returns, and quality standardization shall form an integral part of the framework.
Our View: Similar like Day-2 Announcement day-3 package is also kind of re-introduction of old schemes like ensuring good health of cattle, Agri Insurance, Operation Green, etc. They have tried to link these existing schemes to support the current situation.
It was expected by the Government to fix the minimum support price for agro produce. As farmers are not able to sell or transport the produce due to lockdown, this was very much required.
The announcements on Day-4 are related to structural reforms in various sectors.
Reforms are brought in various sectors. They are Coal, Minerals, Defense Production, Air Space Management, Airports, Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Power Distribution Companies in the Union Territories, Atomic Energy, and Space Sector.
Policy reforms to fast-track investment efforts towards Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat:
Ø Fast track investment clearance through Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS)
Ø Project Development Cell in each Ministry to prepare investible projects, coordinate with investors and Central/State Governments
Ø Ranking of states on Investment Attractiveness to compete for new Investments
Ø Incentive schemes for the promotion of New Champion sectors will be launched in sectors such as Solar PV manufacturing, Advance cell battery storage, etc.
Upgradation of Industrial Infrastructure:
Ø The scheme will be implemented in states through challenge mode for Industrial Cluster Upgradation of common infrastructure facilities and connectivity
Ø Availability of Industrial Land/Land Bank for promoting new investments and making information available on Industrial Information System (IIS) with GIS mapping
· 3376 industrial parks/estates/SEZs in 5 Lakh hectares mapped on Industrial Information System (IIS)
· All industrial parks will be ranked in 2020-21
Our View: This is a welcome move as development in infrastructure, and other allied resources are inevitably required to work towards Atma-Nirbhar Bharat.
1. Policy Reforms in Coal Sector – Introduction of Commercial Mining in Coal Sector:
There is a need to reduce the import of sustainable coal and increase self-reliance in coal production for the sake of balance of payments. Government Monopoly in the coal sector will be removed. The Government will introduce competition, transparency, and private sector participation in the coal sector through:
Ø Revenue sharing Mechanism instead of a regime of fixed Rupee/tonne
· Earlier, only captive consumers with end-use ownership could bid.
· Now, any party can bid for a coal block and sell in the open market
Ø Entry norms will be liberalized
· Nearly 50 blocks to be offered immediately
· No eligibility conditions, only upfront payment with ceiling
Ø Exploration-cum-production regime for partially explored blocks:
· Against earlier provision of the auction of fully explored coal blocks, now even partially explored blocks to be auctioned
· Private sector participation in coal exploration will be allowed
Ø Production earlier than scheduled will be incentivized through rebate in revenue share
Ø Coal Gasification / Liquefication will be incentivized through rebate in revenue share
· This will result in significantly lower environment impact
· This will also assist India in switching to a Gas-based economy
Ø Infrastructure Development of Rs. 50,000 crores
· For evacuation of enhanced CIL’s target of 1 billion tons of coal production by 2023-24 plus coal production from private blocks
· Includes Rs. 18,000 cr worth of investment in the mechanized transfer of coal (conveyor belts) from mines to railway sidings
· This measure will also help reduce environmental impact.
Policy Reforms – Liberalized Regime in the Coal sector:
Ø Coal Bed Methane (CBM) extraction rights to be auctioned from Coal India Limited’s (CIL) coal mines
Ø Ease of doing business measures such as Mining Plan Simplification will be taken
· Mining plan has to be shortened, made amendable for loading online
· To allow for automatic 40% increase in annual production
Ø Concessions in commercial terms given to CILs consumers (relief worth Rs. 5000 cr to be offered). Reserve price in auctions for non-power consumers reduced, credit terms ceased, and lifting period enhanced).
2. Measures for Enhancing Private Investments in the Mineral Sector:
Structural reforms to boost growth, employment, and bring state-of-the-art-technology, especially in exploration through:
Ø Introduction of a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime. Earlier different persons used to do different activities.
Ø 500 mining blocks would be offered through an open and transparent auction process
Ø Introduction of Joint Auction of Bauxite and Coal Mineral blocks to enhance the Aluminum Industry’s competitiveness. This will help the Aluminum Industry reduce electricity costs
Policy reforms for the Mineral sector:
Ø Removal of the distinction between captive and non-captive mines to allow the transfer of mining leases, leading to better efficiency in mining and production
Ø Ministry of Mines is in the process of developing a Mineral Index for different Minerals
Ø Rationalization of stamp duty payable at the time of award of mining leases.
3. Measures for Enhancing Self-Reliance in Defense Production:
Ø ‘Make in India’ for Self-Reliance in Defense production:
· A list of weapons/platforms will be notified for a ban on import with year-wise timelines
· Indigenization of imported spares
· Separate budget provisioning for domestic capital procurement
· This will help in reducing the huge Defense import bill
Ø Improving Autonomy, accountability, and efficiency in Ordnance Supplies by Corporatization of Ordnance Factory Board.
Policy reforms in the Defense Sector:
Ø FDI limit in the fence manufacturing under automatic route will be raised from 49% to 74%
Ø Time-bound defense procurement process and faster decision making will be ushered in by:
· Setting up of a project management unit (PMU) to support contract management
· The realistic setting of General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) of weapons/platforms
· Overhauling trail and testing procedure
Our View: This makes the policy a little confusing.. one way the Government is talking about Self Reliance, on the other hand, it is increasing the FDI for a sector which is of high importance and also crucial for the security of the country.
4. Measures relating to the Civil Aviation sector:
Ø Reduction in flying cost Rs. 1000 cr – Efficient Airspace Management for Civil Aviation:
· Only 60% of the Indian airspace freely available
· Restrictions on the utilization of the Indian Air Space will be eased so that civil flying becomes more efficient
· Will bring a total benefit of about Rs. 1000 crores per year for the aviation sector
· Optimal utilization of air space, reduction in fuel use, time.
· Positive environmental impact
Ø More World-class Airports through PPP
· AAI has awarded three airports out of 6 bid for Operation and Maintenance on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis
· Annual revenue of 6 airports in 1st round - Rs. 1000 crores (against the current profit of Rs 540 crores per year). AAI will also get a down payment of Rs. 2300 crores
· Six more airports identified for 2nd round. Bid process to commence immediately
· Additional investment by private players in 12 airports in 1st and 2nd rounds expected around Rs. 13,000 crores.
· Another six airports will be put out for the third round of bidding.
Ø India to become a global hub for Aircraft Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO)
· The tax regime for MRO ecosystem has been rationalized
· Aircraft component repairs and airframe maintenance to increase from Rs. 800 crores to Rs. 2000 crores in three years
· Major engine manufacturers in the world would set up engine repair facilities in India in the coming year
· Convergence between the defense sector and the civil MROs will be established to create economies of scale
· The maintenance costs of airlines will come down.
5. Tariff Policy Reforms relating to Power Distribution Companies in the Union Territories:
A. Consumer Rights
Ø DISCOM inefficiencies not to burden consumers
Ø Standards of Service and associated penalties for DISCOMs
Ø DISCOMs to ensure adequate power; load-shedding to be penalized
B. Promote Industry
Ø Progressive reduction in cross-subsidies
Ø Time-bound grant of open access
Ø Generation and transmission project developers to be selected competitively
C. Sustainability of sector
Ø No Regulatory Access
Ø Timely payment of Gencos
Ø DBT for the subsidy, smart prepaid meters
Privatization of Distribution in UTs:
Ø Sub-optimal performance of power distribution and supply
Ø Power Departments/Utilities in Union territories will be privatized
Ø Will lead to better services to consumers and improvement in operational and financial efficiency in distribution
Ø Provide a model for emulation by other utilities across the country.
6. Boosting Private Sector Investment in Social Infrastructure through revamped Viability Gap Funding Scheme – Rs. 8100 crores
Ø Social Infrastructure Projects suffer from poor viability
Ø The Government will enhance the quantum of Viability Gap Funding up to 30% each of total project cost as VGF by Centre and State /Statutory bodies
Ø For other sectors, VGF existing support of 20% each from GoI and states/statutory bodies shall continue
Ø The total outlay for this scheme is Rs. 8100 crores
Ø Projects to be proposed by Central Ministries/State Government/Statutory entities.
7. Measures for boosting Private Participation in Space Activities:
Indian private sector will be a co-traveler in India’s space sector journey. Below measures will be taken for that effect:
Ø A Level Playing Field will be provided for private companies in satellites, launches, and space-based activities
Ø A predictable policy and regulatory environment will be provided to private players
Ø The private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities
Ø Future projects for planetary exploration, outer space travel, etc to be open for the private sector
Ø Liberal Geospatial data policy for providing remote-sensing data to tech entrepreneurs.
8. Reforms Related to Atomic Energy:
Ø Establishment of Research reactor in PPP mode for the production of medical isotopes – promote the welfare of humanity through affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases
Ø Establishment of facilities in PPP mode to use irradiation technology for food preservation – to compliment agricultural reforms and assist farmers
Ø Linking India’s robust startup ecosystem to the nuclear sector - Technology Development cum Incubation Centers will be set up for fostering synergy between research facilities and tech- entrepreneurs.
Our View: We are not able to comment on other points as Government is yet to release the policy and framework towards actual implementation. Also, we are of the opinion that these are not part of the relief package but sounds like budget announcements.
There were seven announcements made focusing on:
This will help generate nearly 300 crore person-days in total, boosting the economy through higher production.
Our View: This is a commendable move by Government; migrant workers who are struggling to travel to their native will get benefited from this.
Our View: Policy towards this creates a positive environment always, however, we need to wait till the time it becomes a reality as govt has not revealed the sector-wise allotment for this, which makes this announcement derailed.
Our View: We need to understand that there are already channels over TV, Radio and various other platforms related to online classes and remote access to education to all class of students, Government needs to implement and reveal the policy towards quality control with respect to this and ensure every student in the remote village also get access to these platforms without any discrepancies.
Our View: We need to wait till all policies are published; however, this will encourage the investors and Startups.
Our View: We need to wait until all policies are published. However, this will obviously encourage the investors and Startups as they are getting opened up themselves for a bigger scope to procure required investment in foreign countries also.
o A list of strategic sectors requiring the presence of PSEs in public Interest will be notified.
o In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector, but the private sector will also be allowed.
o In other sectors, PSEs will be privatized.
o The number of enterprises in strategic sectors will ordinarily be only one to four; others will be privatized/ merged/ brought under holding companies.
Our View: We need to wait till all policies are published.