Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her fifth and the last tranche of the coronavirus economic package, on Sunday announced new public sector policy that allows involvement of private sector.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her fifth and the last tranche of the coronavirus economic package, on Sunday announced new public sector policy that allows involvement of private sector.

“A new Aatmanirbhar Bharat will stand on 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,” Nirmala Sitharaman said at a press briefing in New Delhi.

Nirmala Sitharaman said the new reforms will be the focus of the fifth and final tranche of economic stimulus package to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

During the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Rs 16,394 crore has been paid to 8.19 crore farmers under the Rs 2,000 free cash dole scheme of PM Kisan, Nirmala Sitharaman said.

Last week, the government pledged a Rs 20 lakh crore (nearly 10 pr cent of GDP) package to support the economy headed for its first full-year contraction in more than four decades.

This included March 27 announcement of Rs 1.7 lakh crore package of free foodgrain and cash to poor for three months and the Reserve Bank of India’s Rs 5.6 lakh crore worth of liquidity measures since March.

Further to this, the government last week announced a cumulative package of Rs 10.73 lakh crore, mostly in liquidity measures with negligible extra-budget spending. The measures included a variety of steps for small businesses, street vendors, farmers and poor migrants as well as shadow banks and electricity distributors, but they have largely been either credit guarantee schemes or new fund creations to be shouldered by banks and financial institutions.

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