Nirmala Sitharaman 20 lakh cr package: Make in India push for defence, Aviation to uplift, space sector opened for private players
Toshi Tiwari May 16, 2020
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In the fourth press conference of Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, she further unveiled details of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (India’s self-reliant campaign). Finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman in the fourth tranche of 20 lakh crore economic stimulus quoted, “When we talk of self-reliant Bharat, we should prepare ourselves also for tough competition for which there is a need to simplify rules in certain sectors. Therefore, structural reforms to be covered, she added.” Finance minister focused on eight sectors, coal, minerals, defence production, airspace management, airports, power distribution companies in Union Territories, space and atomic energy.
The minister highlighted that for investment reboot steps like fast tracking investment clearances, special cell for seamless approvals, upgradation of industrial infrastructure and land solutions will be key. In fact, all the industrial parks will be ranked.
In the earlier two announcements, the Finance Minister announced a slew of measures to help the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), migrants, street vendors, tribals, agriculture, allied industries, logistics, storage, governance and administrative reforms.
Key highlights from Nirmala Sitharaman’s fourth set of announcements on the 20 lakh crore relief package
Government brings policy reforms in Coal Sector: Introduction of commercial mining in Coal Sector, Investment of Rs 50,000 crores, liberalised regime in coal sector
- State monopoly to go away.
- Private players to be allowed.
- Nearly 50 blocks to be offered.
- Entry norms to be liberalized, no eligibility conditions, any party can bid.
- Only upfront payment with a ceiling.
Mineral sector gets a boost – Structural reforms to boost growth, employment and bring state-of-the-art technology.
- A mineral index to be made.
- 500 mining blocks to be offered.
- Joint auction of bauxite and coal blocks
- Distinction between captive, non-captive mines to be removed.
- Stamp duty to be rationalized.
Make in India push for Indian Defence Sector by enhancing self-reliance in defence production
- FDI limit raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.
- Indigenistion of imported spares.
- List of weapons/platforms to be notified for import ban.
- Separate budget for procurement.
- Improvement of autonomy and accountability in ordnance.
- Overhaul of testing systems.
New wings for Aviation – India to become a global hub for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul. This move to reduce flying cost, convergence of defence and civil MROs to be established to save money on maintenance.
- 6 more airports to be up for auction.
- Private players to get investment room, expected money, Rs 13,000 crore
- 6 more airports to be identified.
- Rationalising air space to reduce flying time and fuel savings.
- Air space curbs to be removed.
- Green efforts to be boosted.
- Restrictions on utilisation of the Indian Air Space will be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient
Tariff policy reform for power – A tariff policy laying out the reforms in Consumer Rights, Promotion of Industry and Sustainability of Sector to be released.
- Discoms in metros to be privatized.
- Load shedding will face penal action.
- Discom functions to be streamlined to improve accountability.
Power Departments / Utilities in Union Territories to be privatised.
Private sector investment in social infrastructure boosted through revamped funding scheme with an Rs 8,100 crore outlay.
Airspace Open – Government to provide predictable policy and regulatory environment to private players.
- Private sector gets co-pilot seat in space sector.
- Private firms can use ISRO facilities.
- Space exploration opened for private players
- Regulatory ease to be extended to firms.
- Liberal geo-spatial policy.
Atomic energy reforms – Government to establish research reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes to promote welfare of humanity through affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases.
- Research reactor to be done in PPP mode. (for medical isotopes)
- PPP mode facility for irradiation tech for food.
- Startup ecosystem to be linked with nuclear sector.