Hailing the announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Today’s announcements by FM @ nsitharaman will go a long way in addressing issues faced by businesses, especially MSMEs. The steps announced will boost liquidity, empower the entrepreneurs and strengthen their competitive spirit.”
On Wednesday, Sitharaman announced help for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which have taken a beating during the Covid-induced lockdown. He also used the hashtag ‘Atma-nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, which is a reference to self-reliant India, something which he vowed to turn the country into during his televised address to the nation on Tuesday night.
Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, Sitharaman announced to widen the definition of MSMEs and raise the investment limit. Another criteria, turnover of the company, has also been added to the required norms for classification of MSMEs. Sitharaman also announced a collateral-free automatic loan for MSMEs of up to Rs 3 lakh crore, among other liquidity measures. Government will also launch a Rs 30,000 crore Special Liquidity Scheme.
Under this scheme investment will be made in both primary and secondary market transactions in investments graded debt paper of NBFCs, HCFCs and MFIs. In a move to provide more scope for Indian companies, including MSMEs, the Centre has decided to disallow global firms from participating in government procurement tenders up to Rs 200 crore.
These were part of a multi-pronged approach of the government to rejuvenate the sector which has been badly hit by the suspension of economic activities in the country in the wake of the nationwide lockdown which is place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.