Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has predicted a strong likelihood of the Indian economy returning to positive growth in Q3:2020-21. “RBI predicts a strong likelihood of the Indian economy returning to positive growth in Q3:2020-21, ahead by a quarter of the earlier forecast,” Sitharaman said at a press conference.

“There has been very good progress on ‘One Nation-One Ration Card’ in 28 states and Union territories covering 68.6 crore beneficiaries. On Interstate Portability, 28 states and UTs have been brought under the national portability of ration cards with effect from September 1, 2020. Now covers 68.6 crore beneficiaries who now have an option to lift their food grains from any FPS of choice in any of these 28 states and UTs,” the Finance Minister said.

“Labour Ministry, with the Finance Ministry and other concerned ministries, are working together closely with the States, and the work has commenced on creating a portal for migrant workers,” she added.

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“Rs 25,000 crores has been disbursed to farmers from Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding through NABARD. Credit boost has been given to 2.5 crore farmers through Kisan Credit Cards, Rs 1.4 lakh crores has been distributed to farmers,” she said.

The Finance Minister said, “Rs 7,227 crores disbursed under the Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFCs/HFC.” While Minister of State (MoS) Anurag Thakur said, “Markets are on a record-high and India’s foreign exchange reserves are at $560 bn. India has made a strong comeback economically. RBI has said that India will do better in Q4. So the mood in the country, as well as Moody’s rating for India, has improved.”

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday also announced that the existing Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) has been extended till March 31 next year.

“The existing Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme which was announced in the Atmanirbhar Bharat 1.0 has now been extended till 31 March 2021. There is guaranteed credit support for 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee. Original ECLGS had one year of moratorium and 4 years of repayment, while the new scheme will have 1-year moratorium and 5 years of repayment,” Sitharaman said at a press conference here.

“We are launching credit guarantee support scheme for the healthcare sector and 26 sectors stressed due to COVID-19. Entities will get additional credit up to 20 per cent of outstanding credit. Repayment can be done in five years’ time (1 year moratorium + 4 years repayment),” the Finance Minister said.

She said, 10 new champion sectors will now be covered under the Production Linked Incentives Scheme to boost the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing. It is expected to give a significant boost to economic growth and domestic employment.

“Rs 18,000 crore will be provided over and above the budget estimate which was mentioned in the Budget 2020-21 under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, particularly for the urban areas,” she said. “This extra budgetary resource being provided will help 12 lakh houses to be grounded and 18 lakh houses will get completed as a result,” she added.

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