Rs 20 lakh cr package: Centre reviews dole, Oppn slams govt






In a detailed review, the Centre has stated that of the Rs 20 lakh crore AtmaNirbhar Bharat Package (ANBP) announced last May, the government has already disbursed a considerable amount under more than 21 categories while some other schemes are under implementation.

As per the official data after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s review last week, the Centre has declared the ANBP implementation with others en route – under the pillars outlined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pull the country out of the pandemic-cum-lockdown crisis.

As per replies to an earlier RTI query by a Pune businessman Prafful Sarda, the Centre has cleared barely 10 per cent of the total Rs 20 lakh crore package till December 2020.

“After getting trapped, the Centre has finally come out with these details and explanations. Yet the total actual package amounts to barely 50 per cent � or around Rs 10,25,000 crore – as per the government’s own figures,” Sarda pointed out.

Taking note of an IANS report which first highlighted the ANBP issue (December 11), opposition Congress MP Rahul Gandhi posted a sarcastic tweet on Monday morning: “Election Jumla (Rs) 15 lakhs in accounts, Corona Jumla (Rs) 20 lakh crore package!”

The issue has become an intense matter of debate in political and financial circles besides social media with comparisons on the earlier RTI data and the government’s subsequent figures.

The Pune-based Sarda said that barring MSMEs, there is no major relief for the ordinary suffering masses of the country, but wondered how putting excess money with MSMEs can ease the pandemic-lockdown crisis.

“The government has announced a Rs 1 lakh crore Agri-Infrastructure Fund of which only Rs 1,128 crore � or barely 1.12 per cent has been actually sanctioned to 2,280 farmer societies. What about the remaining amount of 99.88 per cent when the farmers are in distress all over India?” Sarda remarked.

Certain announcements are about “IT refunds” or various kinds of “dues”, which was already lying with and belonging to the beneficiaries, so Sarda asks how it qualifies as ANBP aid.

The Centre’s detailed review of the ANBP came out in an official statement on Sunday.

The highlights include: Automatic loans for Business (including MSMEs) � Rs 3 lakh crore, Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme for NBFCs � Rs.45,000 crore, Additional Emergency Working Capital for Farmers (NABARD) � Rs 3,000 crore, Concessional Credit Boost Kisan Credit Card � Rs 2 lakh crore, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban � Rs 18,000 crore.

There is the Infra Debt Financing Equity Infusion – Rs 6,000 crore, Subordinate Debt for Stressed MSMEs � Rs 20,000 crore, Equity Infusion for MSME Funds � Rs 50,000 crore, MSME Dues � Rs 21,000 crore, Agri Infra Fund for Farm Gate Infrastructure � Rs 1 lakh crore.

Under other heads, allocations are made for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund � Rs 15,000 crore, Fishermen under PMMSY � Rs 20,000 crore, Credit-linked Subsidy Scheme boost to Housing Sector � Rs 70,000 crore, MGNREGS Employment Boost � Rs 40,000 crore and Liquidity Injection for DISCOMs � Rs 90,000 crore.

The Centre has mentioned other amounts under the liberalisation of the coal sector for targeting 1 billion tonnes in coal production by 2023-2024 for which railway lines and mechanised projects are being implemented.

Similarly, under the Rs 1.10 lakh crore Platform for Infra Debt Financing through the National Investment and Infrastructure (NIIF) Rs 6,000 crore has been given, Special Interest-free loans of 50 years to states for Rs 12,000 crore for which 27 states have submitted proposals, and IT refunds of Rs 1,45,619 crore.

The government has stated that under the Kisan Cards Scheme, it has sanctioned Rs 46,532 crore and Rs 1,07,417 crore in two phases.IANS