New Delhi, November 12
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said the Indian economy is witnessing a strong recovery after a long and strict lockdown.
Addressing a press conference to announce more stimulus measures to boost growth, she said macro-economic indicators are pointing towards recovery.
COVID-19 active cases have declined from over 10 lakh to 4.89 lakh with case fatality rate (CFR) at 1.47 per cent, she said.
Giving out details of recovery, she said composite purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 58.9 per cent in October versus 54.6 per cent in the previous month, registering the strongest increase in output in close to nine years.
Energy consumption growth trended higher in October at 12 per cent year-on-year, while Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections have grown 10 per cent to over Rs 1.05 lakh crore.
Daily railway freight tonnage grew by an average 20 per cent year-on-year versus 12 per cent, she said adding bank credit has improved 5.1 per cent.
Also, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in April-August at USD 35.37 billion has seen a 13 per cent rise on a year-on-year basis.
RBI has predicted a strong likelihood of Indian economy returning to positive growth in Q3 2020-21, ahead by a quarter from the earlier forecast, she said adding prominent economists have suggested that the rebound is not only due to pent up demand but also due to strong economic growth.
FM announces new employment generation scheme
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a new job creation scheme by giving subsidy to those establishments that make new hires.
The subsidy would be to cover for retirement fund contributions by employees as well as employers for two years, she said.
Employees contribution (12 per cent of wages) and employer’s contribution (12 per cent of wages) totalling 24 per cent of wages would be given to establishments for two years, she said.
Under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, every Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)-registered establishment taking new employees would get this subsidy.
The scheme will cover any new employee joining employment in EPFO-registered establishment on monthly wages less than Rs 15,000 crore.
It would also cover EPF members drawing monthly wages of less than Rs 15,000, who made an exit from employment during COVID-19 pandemic from March 1, 2020, and is employed on or after October 1, 2020.
The scheme would cover establishments registered with EPFO if they add new employees compared to the reference base of employees as in September 2020.
The condition would be adding a minimum of two new employees for establishments with up to 50 employees. Those establishments with more than 50 employees, would have to give a minimum of five new jobs.
The scheme would be operational till June 30, 2021.
The Finance Minister also announced an extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) till March 31, 2021.
Under the scheme, fully guaranteed and collateral-free loans are provided to small and micro-enterprises.
Sitharaman also announced a guaranteed credit scheme for supporting stressed sectors.
The scheme would cover entities in 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee plus healthcare sector with credit outstanding of above Rs 50 crore and up to Rs 50 crore as on February 29, 2020.
An additional credit of up to 20 per cent of outstanding as on February 29, 2020, would be given to entities in these sectors, she said.
The tenor of additional credit would be five years, including one year of a moratorium on principal repayment. The scheme would be available till March 31, 2021. PTI
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