Congressional P Chidambaram disapproves of Centre’s new COVID-19 package

On Tuesday, top Congress leader P Chidambaram disapproved of the new financial package announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Stressing that the credit guarantee is not credit per se, he said no banker will lend to a debt-ridden business. It was imperative, he said, to provide capital without credit to cash-strapped businesses.

Disagreeing with the Centre’s approach, the MP for Rajya Sabha argued that only consumption will trigger an increase in supply. Chidambaram added, “Demand (consumption) will not increase in an economy where jobs have been lost and income / wages have been reduced. The answer to this crisis is to put money in the hands of the people, especially the poor and lower middle classes. Classes”.

The Centre’s financial package

A day earlier, Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled a package of 17 measures amounting to Rs.6,28,993 crore to bring relief to various sectors affected by the second wave of COVID-19. These included two previously announced measures: the additional subsidy for DAP and P&K fertilizers and the extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana from May to November 2021. One of the key measures is the Rs loan guarantee program. 1.10 lakh crore for areas affected by COVID. . Addressing healthcare and other sectors, it involves a maximum loan amount of Rs 100 crore for which banks will charge much cheaper interest rates.

In addition, the Union government has decided to expand the emergency line of credit guarantee program to Rs. 1.5 lakh crore. Under another new program, a credit guarantee will be provided to commercial banks for loans to new or existing NBFC microfinance institutions on loans of up to Rs 1.25 lakh to around 25 lakh from small borrowers. This scheme focuses on new loans, not on paying off old loans.

Speaking on the initiative to boost tourism, the Union Minister of Finance said: “Once international travel resumes, the first 5 lakh tourists who come to India will not have to pay any fees. visa. Program applicable until March 31, 2022, or will be closed after distribution of the first 5 lakh visas. A tourist can only benefit once “. She also specified that the loan guarantee program will cover 10,700 regional-level tourist guides recognized by the Ministry of Tourism and tourist guides recognized by state governments, and around 1,000 travel and tourism actors recognized by the ministry. tourism.

Meanwhile, she revealed that a new program with an expenditure of Rs. 23,220 crore would focus on short-term emergency preparedness with a particular focus on children and pediatric beds. On this occasion, she unveiled the details of 8 new programs to boost growth and employment. These include the release of varieties with special characteristics that are climate resilient to ensure higher crop yields, the relaunch of NERAMAC, an increase of Rs 88,000 crore in export insurance coverage, Rs 19,041 crore for broadband in each village and a new streamlined process for PPP projects.

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