India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday (November 12) announced a stimulus package worth 265,000 crore Indian Rupees (over 35 billion U.S. dollars) in to boost the economy amid slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fresh stimulus measures in the form of 12 new announcements under the “Atmanirbhar 3.0” (Self Reliance 3.0) stimulus package has been in the works for more than three months, and focuses on helping stressed sectors, middle income groups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), besides others.
The new measures are mostly focused on generating employment and boosting labour-intrusive sectors like real estate and manufacturing, stated an official presentation.
The minister also announced a fresh scheme to incentivize new employment under the “Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana” (Self Reliance India Employment Scheme).
The existing Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme has also been extended till March 31, 2021.
One of the major announcements was a grant of 900 crore Indian Rupees (120 million U.S. dollars) towards research and development for COVID-19 vaccine under the “COVID Suraksha Mission” (COVID Protection Mission).
The money will directly go to the biotechnology department and will strictly be used for research activity, said an official with the ministry.
Another announcement aimed at boosting project exports, as a part of which 3,000 crore Indian Rupees (400 million U.S. dollars) will be provided to EXIM Bank for lines of credits.
“Rs 3,000 crores will be released to EXIM Bank for promotion of project exports through Lines of Credit under IDEAS Scheme. Supported projects cover Railways, power, transmission, road and transport, auto and auto components, sugar projects etc,” Sitharaman said on Thursday.
Other announcements related to generating employment, agriculture and infrastructure.