Budget 2021: Aatmanirbhar packages of Rs 27.1 lakh crore sped up the pace of structural reforms: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the government's Aatmanirbhar packages, totalling Rs 27.1 lakh crore to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, accelerated the pace of structural reforms.
In the first-ever paperless Union Budget, the FM also proposed the introduction of 'Aatmanirbhar Swastha Bharat Yojana' programme with an outlay of Rs 64,180 crore, from a 'Made in India' tablet wrapped in a red velvet cloth.
This will be in addition to the National Health Mission, she said. The finance minister added that India has two COVID-19 vaccines and two more will be launched. President of India Ram Nath Kovind also highlighted in his address at the Parliament on Friday that becoming self-reliant is important in order to progress.
She further noted the government has stretched its resources for the benefit of the poorest of the poor.
Furthermore, the FM highlighted "our manufacturing sector has to grow in double digits on a sustained basis" to achieve the vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025. She also announced the government's commitment of Rs 1.97 lakh crore under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
2020 has been a tough year for Indian MSMEs. The coronavirus pandemic that resulted in freeze in production, disruption of supply chains, and the decline in revenues compelled the Indian government to come up with relief packages.
The finance minister rolled out a slew of initiatives in May 2020 under the Rs 20 lakh crore Aatmanirbhar Bharat stimulus package. The schemes were announced to make India self-reliant at a time when production processes and supply chains were disrupted.
Of the 15 schemes announced by the FM, six were for MSMEs. Three policies that stood out were the Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free loan scheme, the Rs 20,000 crore subordinated debt for MSMEs, and the Rs 50,000 crore equity infusion through the Funds of Funds (FoF).
It is the third Union Budget speech since 2019 for Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
(Disclaimer: With additional inputs from the PTI)
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