Centre announces Public Sector Enterprise Policy, additional allocation for MGNREGA

Last Updated: Sunday, 17 May 2020 (18:01 IST)
New Delhi: In the fifth and final tranche of announcements as part of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Rs 20 lakh crore package to help realise the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the Centre on Sunday announced a new Public Sector Enterprise Policy, additional allocation for MGNREGA and increasing investment on health and major changes in company law and insolvency laws.

Addressing a press conference here along with MoS Finance Anurag Thakur, to announce the fifth and final tranche of announcements as part of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Rs 20 lakh crore package to help realise the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Government will introduce a new Public Sector Enterprise Policy.
 
“In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed. In other sectors, PSEs will be privatized,” she said.
 
She informed that to prepare the country for any future pandemics, the Government will increase Public Expenditure on Health and invest in grass-root health institutions.
 
“Special blocks for infectious diseases will be made in every district hospital. Public health laboratories will be set up at the block level. Research will be encouraged. The blueprint of the National Digital Health Mission will be prepared,” the Finance Minister said.
 
Ms Sitharaman said that in the wake of the situation arising due to COVID-19, an additional allocation of Rs 40,000 crore is being made for the MGNREGS in the current financial year with the aim of providing employment to the migrant workers at their local level. It will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total.
 
The Union Finance Minister also announced suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year.
 
“With an eye on further enhancement of Ease of Doing Business, Government announces suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year; decides to exclude COVID-19 related debt from the definition of “default” under IBC,” she said.
 
She said that the Government was moving to decriminalise Companies Act defaults.
 
Seven compoundable offences have been altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework.
 
She further said that the Centre has decided to accede to the request by States for a special increase in borrowing.
 
Borrowing limits of States is being raised from 3 per cent to 5 per cent, for 2020-21 only, she said.
 
The Union Finance Minister said to promote State-level reforms, part of the borrowing will be linked to specific reforms like increasing job creation through investment and promoting urban development, health and sanitation.
 
She also said PM eVIDYA - a programme for multi-mode access to digital/online education will be launched immediately and top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30th May.
 
Focusing on policy reforms for attracting foreign investment and to fast-track efforts towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, the Union Finance Minister on Saturday had announced structural reforms in coal, mining, defence, air space management, power, social infrastructure, space and atomic energy sectors. (UNI)