Nirmala announces steps to boost exports, changes in taxation

Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, Sep 14 : To boost the economy,Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced a special window of Rs. 10,000 crore to boost affordable and middle-income housing and simplication of GST rules to higher insurance cover to banks lending for exports.

“Each time we are making a clear attempt to also connect with the previous announcements,” the Finance Minister said, as she explained the measures through a presentation. The government had earlier announced steps such as a withdrawal of higher taxes on foreign investors – as announced in the Budget – and a mega merger plan for 10 state-run banks in a bid to push investments and growth.

The Finance Minister said the Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Product (RoDTEP) will replace the existing Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS), and will in effect “more than adequately incentivise exporters” than the existing schemes.

She said that External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) guidelines will be relaxed to facilitate financing home buyers who are eligible under the PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana). This is an addition to the existing norms for ECB for affordable housing.

he minister came out with several measures to prop up country’s housing sector which is considered one of the main job creators. Now, there would be relaxed ECB norms for housing sector. Further, interest on house building advance would be lowered by linking it with 10-year government securities.

Sitharaman said that there would be special window for affordable and middle-income housing. Under this, a special window to provide last-mile funding for housing projects which are non-NCLT, non-NPA cases to complete unfinished projects. For this, a fund of Rs 10,000 crore would be contributed by the government and “roughly the same size by outside investors.”

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