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FM reviews Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, Rs 62k cr disbursed under ECLGS

Sitharaman had announced a Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding for farmers through NABARD under the package.

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Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, July 12 : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman has reviewed the progress of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat economic package’s implementation in matters related to the Finance and Corporate Affair Ministries.

The latest review has shown that as of July 9, banks have disbursed Rs 61,987.90 crore to MSMEs under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). A total of over Rs 1.20 lakh crore have been sanctioned so far.

To provide relief to the businesses, additional working capital finance of 20 per cent of the outstanding credit as on February 29, 2020, in the form of a term loan at a concessional rate of interest is provided under the scheme. This would be available to units with upto Rs 25 crore outstanding and turnover of up to Rs 100 crore whose accounts are standard.

The units will not have to provide any guarantee or collateral of their own. The amount will be 100 per cent guaranteed by the government of India providing a total liquidity of Rs 3 lakh crore to more than 45 lakh MSMEs.

Regarding the Rs 45,000 crore Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), the Finance Ministry statement said that banks have approved purchase of portfolio of Rs 14,000 crore and are currently in process of approval or negotiations for Rs 6,000 crore as on July 3, 2020.

As per the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the government had announced to revamp the existing Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme (PCGS) and extend it to cover the borrowings of lower rated NBFCs, HFCs and other Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). Government of India would provide a 20 per cent first loss sovereign guarantee to public sector banks.

Further, NABARD has sanctioned the new front loaded special refinance facility of Rs 30,000 crore sanctioned to regional rural banks and Cooperative Banks. This special facility to benefit three crore farmers, consisting of mostly small and marginal farmers in meeting their credit needs for post-harvest and kharif sowing requirements.

The statement said that when kharif sowing is already on its full swing Rs 24,876.87 crore out of Rs 30,000 crore has been disbursed as on July 6, out of this special facility.

Sitharaman had announced a Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding for farmers through NABARD under the package.

On the Rs 30,000 crore Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFCs, HFCs and MFIs, the official statement said that SBICAP has received 24 applications requesting about Rs 9,875 crore of financing as on July 7, 2020 which are being processed. The first application in this regard has received its approval and the remaining are also being considered, it added.

It also said that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has raised the threshold of default under Section 4 of the IBC, 2016 to Rs 1 crore — from the existing threshold of Rs 1 lakh. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is finalising a special insolvency resolution under section 240A of the Code, to provide relief to the MSMEs and the same would be notified soon.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 has been promulgated on June 5, 2020 thereby provided for insertion of Section 10A in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 to temporarily suspend initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under Section 7, 9 & 10 of the Code for a period of six months or such further period, not exceeding one year from such date.

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India’s consumer price inflation rises as food prices soar

As per the data, the CPI YoY inflation rate for vegetables and pulses jumped by 11.29 per cent and 15.92 per cent, respectively, in July.

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Inflation

New Delhi, Aug 14 : A substantial rise in food prices lifted India’s July retail inflation to 6.93 per cent from 6.23 per cent in June, official data showed on Thursday.

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the CPI inflation more than doubled last month from 3.15 per cent recorded during July 2019.

The data furnished by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed that India’s consumer food price index during the month under review rose to 9.62 per cent from 8.72 per cent reported for June 2020.

CFPI readings measure the changes in retail prices of food products.

“As the various pandemic-related restrictions were gradually lifted and non- essential activities started resuming operations, availability of price data has also improved,” the NSO said.

“The NSO collected prices from 1,054 (95 per cent) urban markets and 1,089 (92 per cent) villages during the month of July 2020,” it said.

The data showed that CPI Urban rose to 6.84 per cent in July from 6.12 per cent in June. The CPI rural increased to 7.04 per cent last month from 6.34 p er cent in June.

The data assumes significance as the Reserve Bank of India, in its recent monetary policy review, maintained the key lending rates on account of rising retail inflation.

The central bank’s target for retail inflation is set within a band of +/-2 per cent.

As per the data, the CPI YoY inflation rate for vegetables and pulses jumped by 11.29 per cent and 15.92 per cent, respectively, in July.

Furthermore, meat and fish prices rose 18.81 per cent and eggs became dearer by 8.79 per cent.

In addition, the fuel and light category under CPI rose by 2.80 per cent.

“Clearly, the larger concern is the impact of consistently high food inflation on core inflation through cost push factors; the relatively high figure for transport and communication is a reflection of high tax driven fuel prices and increase in telecom tariffs,” said Suman Chowdhury, Chief Analytical Officer, Acuite Ratings & Research.

“We believe that inflationary concerns may lead to a delay in further rate cuts and can raise the risks of stagflation. It is also expected to have an adverse impact on bond yields in the near term and may trigger the higher use of liquidity and yield management tools to optimise the cost of government’s borrowings.”

According to Devendra Kumar Pant, Chief Economist and Senior Director, Public Finance, India Ratings & Research: “Both industrial production and inflation trend suggests different monetary policy action.”

“Retail inflation breaching the MPC’s upper band of 6 per cent in seven out of last eight months makes task of the MPC difficult. India Ratings believes the MPC will watch inflation trajectory very carefully before taking a decision on further rate cuts.”

Brickwork ratings’ Chief Economic Advisor M. Govinda Rao said: “The spillovers of the hike in petrol prices are most likely to influence transportation costs adding to inflationary pressures going forward. We expect food inflation to soften in the coming months with easing supply constraints and better monsoon so far.”

“However, the core inflation at 5.5 per cent is a cause of concern, and it may remain at elevated levels as the demand picks up, but capacity utilisation does not increase commensurately.”

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PM Modi unveils ‘transparent taxation’, Rights’ Charter for taxpayers

The Income Tax department will adopt a ‘taxpayer charter’ which outlines rights and responsibilities of both tax officers and taxpayers.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Aug 13 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the ‘transparent taxation’ platform, which brings into effect faceless assessment of taxpayers, and the Rights’ Charter for the taxpayers.

Also the Income Tax department will adopt a ‘taxpayer charter’ which outlines rights and responsibilities of both tax officers and taxpayers.

Launching the platform ‘Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest’, Modi said the department will start faceless appeals from September 25.

“Effort is to make tax system seamless, painless and faceless… Honest taxpayer plays an important role in nation development,” he said.

Asking people to pay taxes due to them, Modi said while it is the responsibility of tax officers to deal with taxpayers with dignity, people should also consider paying taxes as their responsibility.

Fundamental reforms were needed in Indian tax system, he said, adding India is among the nations with lowest corporate tax rates.

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Gold, silver prices now collapse after record run

Futures of silver, which surged to record levels after crossing Rs 70,000 per kilogram mark, have declined below the Rs 66,000 mark.

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Mumbai, Aug 12 : Futures of gold and silver which were touching new highs every other day lately have started to falter in line with international markets and traders booking profits.

The fall in gold prices, which is considered as a safe haven asset, has also been induced post Russia’s announcement that it has developed the first vaccine for novel coronavirus.

Gold futures slumped for the second straight day on Wednesday. Currently, the October contract of gold on the Multi-Commodity Exchange (MCX) is trading at Rs 51,672 per 10 gram, lower by Rs 257 or 0.49 per cent from its previous close.

It has, however, recovered from the day’s low of Rs 49,955 per 10 gram.

The slump was in line with the international spot prices where gold prices fell as US bond yields advanced and the dollar recovered.

Analysts, however, are of the view that the sentiments in the bullion market are still bullish and the yellow metal would soon be back on the upward trend.

Futures of silver, which surged to record levels after crossing Rs 70,000 per kilogram mark, have declined below the Rs 66,000 mark.

The September contract of silver is trading at Rs 65,758 per kg, lower by Rs 1,176, or 1.76 per cent from its previous close.

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