PM Garib Kalyan Package used technology to do direct benefit transfer to people: FM Nirmala Sitharaman


New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday (May 17) outlined the final tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost economy in the view of coronavirus crisis. 

Beginning her press briefing, she said “As a nation, we stand at a very crucial juncture. Such a big disaster is a signal for India, it has brought a message and opportunity,” adding “We need now to build an #AatmaNirbharBharat.” 

She said, “Soon after lockdown, we came with #PMGaribKalyanPackage, we provided food grains to those who needed it, we did not want to scout for money to search for grains,” adding “#PradhanMantriGaribKalyanPackage used technology to do direct benefit transfer to people, we could do what we did because of the initiatives taken during the last few years.”

“Pulses too were given 3 months in advance. I appreciate the concerted efforts of FCI, NAFED and states, giving pulses and grains in huge quantities, despite logistical challenges,” she added. 

The FM added that today’s attempt is to make sure that environment is all right for the businesses to resume, adding that steps will focus on these seven areas: MGNREGA, Health and Education, Businesses and COVID, decriminalisation of Company’s Act, ease of doing business, Public Sector Enterprises related matters and state governments and resources related to state governments. 

In her fourth address on May 16, the Finance Minister announced “structural reforms” in the sectors of coal, minerals defence production, airspace management, MROs power distribution companies, space sectors, and atomic energy sector.

Sitharaman yesterday said that FDI limit in defence manufacturing will be hiked to 74 per cent from 49 per cent while some weapons and platforms will be banned for imports. This step was to give a major boost to ‘Make in India’ in defence sector. 

The government also stated that it will rationalise stamp duty in mining sector, eliminate the difference between captive and non-captive mines, introduce seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime and auction 500 mining blocks.

Key Highlights of 4th tranche announced on May 16:

1. Commercial Mining introduced in Coal Sector

2. Diversified Opportunities in Coal Sector

3. Liberalised Regime in Coal Sector

4. Enhancing Private Investments and Policy Reforms in  Mineral Sector

5. Enhancing Self Reliance in Defence Production

6. Policy Reforms in Defence Production

7. Efficient Airspace Management for Civil Aviation

8. More World-Class Airports through PPP

9. India to become a global hub for Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO)

10. Tariff Policy Reform in Power Sector; Privatization of Distribution in UTs

11. Boosting private sector investment through revamped Viability Gap Funding Scheme in Social Sector

12. Boosting private participation in space activities

13. Reforms in Atomic Energy Sector

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