Fourth tranche includes structural reforms in various sectors
In the 4th tranche of the economic package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman basically focuses on various sectors aiming towards growth stimulation and job creation. This time the utmost focus has been on sectors like coal, minerals, defence, aviation, power distribution, space and atomic energy sector. All the 4 tranches sums up the detailed guidelines and strategy of allocation of total fund as announced earlier by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This pool of Rs 20 lakh crore package, that amounts to 10 percent of our GDP aims to help the nation survive the economic crisis that has risen due to cross country lockdowns laid to curtail spread of COVID-19.
Details of previous tranches:
The 1st tranche was announced on May 13, 2020 following the 2nd and 3rd tranche on May 14 and 15 respectively. The announcements in 3 tranches summed up to Rs 10.73 lakh crore. Similarly, 4th tranche has been aired on May 16, 2020 providing further details regarding the balance amount of fund dispersal strategy.
The 20 lakh crore package includes the amounts of earlier announcements made in March. Like the fund of Rs 1.7 lakh crore to take care of provision of free food grain and cash to poor for three months period, and monetary policy announced by RBI amounting to Rs 5.6 lakh crore. The First 3 tranches focuses on MSMEs, NBFCs, relief measures for poor migrant workers, street vendors, small businesses and farmers and agricultural sector.
Major announcements and reform in policies:
States will be ranked on investment attractiveness to compete for new investments for industrial upgradation and infrastructure facilities and expansion of its reach. Major sectors in radar are Coal, Minerals, Defence, Airspace, Power distribution, Space and Atomic Energy. Let us consider them one by one.
Government removes its monopoly over coal and announces commercial mining of this black diamond. Emphasizing on reduction of imports and increasing “Atma Nirbharta”. She also announces that government will spend Rs. 50,000 crores to develop this sector and looks forward to transparent and healthy competition welcoming private sector participation. Adding further, she tells around 50 blocks of coal will be auctioned.
Similarly, she announces that the government is looking forward to enhance private investment in this sector. Open and transparent auctions will be held to offer around 500 mining blocks. In order to boost competition in Aluminium industry, joint auction will be arranged for Bauxite and coal ores.
With the aim of reducing dependence and becoming Atma Nirbhar, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in manufacturing under automatic route has been raised to 74% as compared to 49% previously. For domestic production of imported spares, budget provisioning has been done. These steps are taken to enhance autonomy, accountability and improvise efficiency in this sector.
Limitations levied on usage of Indian Air Space will be uplifted, in order to make flying more efficient. This liberation will earn an annual benefit of around Rs. 1,000 crores for this sector. She also mentions vision of building world-class airports via Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Adding further, she said Government is taking efforts to make our country an international hub for repairs and maintenance and overhaul for aircrafts under authorization of the Airports Authority of India. Untill now 3 out of 6 airports have been authorized for the same on PPP basis.
In accordance with the newly laid tariff policies, Government opens doors for private players to enter into power distribution sector in the Union Territories. This is supposed to strengthen, stabilize and improvise efficiency in this sector.
A revival scheme amounting to Rs 8,100 crores, has been launched to stimulate social infrastructure. This will boost private sector investment in social infrastructure.
Government welcomes private sector to become part of journey in space, launching rockets, satellite services and others. This will stimulate private participation in this sector. The finance minister also mentions that the government is trying to liberalize geo-spatial policy.
Government wishes to see new startups in the nuclear sector. For stimulating this vision, government will set up incubation centres. These incubators are termed as Technology Development cum Incubation Centres. The welcoming the PPP model will help in establishing research reactors and making of medical isotopes.
Lastly, the above mentioned strategic plans and reforms are built with a vision of creating opportunities for businesses and at the same time generating employment and contributing to economic upswing.