Cabinet approves FM Sitharaman's relief measures: Key highlights
New Delhi, June 30: Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the relief measures announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday. The FM announced 8 such relief measures.
Together with previously announced Rs 93,869-crore spending on providing free foodgrains to the poor till November and additional Rs 14,775 crore fertiliser subsidy, the stimulus package, which is mostly made up of government guarantee to banks and microfinance institutions for loans they extend to COVID-19-hit sectors, totalled up to Rs 6.29 lakh crore.
The finance minister provided Rs 23,220 crore of additional funding to set up children and paediatric care at hospitals to prepare healthcare infrastructure to deal with any emergency arising due to COVID-19 wave hitting children.
BharatNet implementation strategy
The cabinet approved public private partnership mode for the rollout of BharatNet project for broadband services in villages in 16 states with viability gap funding of Rs 19,041 crore, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He said the decision to involve private players was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on August 15, 2020 that around 6 lakh villages in the country will be connected with broadband in 1,000 days.
The 16 states are Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
Till date, 1.56 lakh out of the 2.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with broadband.
Cabinet also approved Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme that seeks to improve operational efficiencies & financial sustainability of all DISCOMs/ Power Departments excluding Private Sector DISCOMs by providing conditional financial assistance for strengthening of supply infra.
The Scheme will have an outlay of Rs.3,03,758 crore with an estimated GBS from Central Government of Rs.97,631 crore. It is proposed that the currently ongoing approved projects under the Schemes of IPDS, DDUGJY along with PMDP-2015 for the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh would be subsumed in this Scheme, and the savings of their GBS (approx. Rs. 17000 crore) would be part of the total outlay of the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme under the existing terms and conditions till their sunset on 31" March, 2022.
The funds under these Schemes would be available for the identified projects under IPDS and for the approved ongoing projects under Prime Minister's Development Program (PMDP) for the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh under IPDS and DDUGJY till 31 March, 2023.
Deadline extension for jobs scheme
The Cabinet approved the extension of the last date of registration under ABRY from June 30, 2021, to March 31, 2022. Consequent upon this extension, it is expected that 71.8 lakh jobs will be generated in the formal sector as against the earlier projection of 58.5 lakh, it added.
As on June 18 this year, benefits amounting to Rs 902 crore have been given to 21.42 lakh beneficiaries through 79,577 establishments under the ABRY, it said.