Stimulus measures may be extended and expanded; additional funding, support for more sectors likely

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Covid-related relief programmes and stimulus measures could be extended, given greater funding and expanded to support more businesses and sectors hit by the pandemic, said people aware of the matter.

Additionally, with many states beginning to relax curbs, the finance ministry will push ministries for a quick rollout and frontloading of the ₹5.54 lakh crore capital spending announced in the budget. The flagship Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), which now covers nearly 30 sectors including civil aviation and hospitals, could be expanded to more areas with easier conditions and provided higher capital support. “Discussions are going on — a final call would be taken shortly,” said an official.

Tax Breaks May be Extended

Income tax breaks provided to the construction and real estate sector may be extended. The rural employment scheme could be given more funds to provide assistance until the economy opens up fully and people are able to return to regular work.

Agencies

ET had reported Thursday that the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, which offers incentives to the private sector for creating new jobs, is likely to be extended.

The Centre’s focus is on continuing with measures announced earlier and providing enhanced benefits under them with additional allocations, said another official.

The ECLGS corpus, which has remained at Rs 3 lakh crore as more sectors have been included, is expected to be increased. Banks have so far sanctioned about Rs 2.54 lakh crore of loans under the scheme.

The government guarantees additional loans taken by stressed businesses under various programmes to tide over working capital issues and make a rapid restart as lockdowns are lifted.

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