The Indian economy has immensely weakened with the onset of contagion. To alleviate bad effects of the Coronavirus, Indian government has lately pronounced several government policies to reduce stress on MSMEs, general masses, agriculture sector, and daily-wage earners.
These government policies cover a range of pain points that can help boost the economy and lessen cash crunch like situation. Here are steps that have been taken by the government.
The government has proclaimed insurance covers of INR 50 lakhs per person for health professionals under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. So far, health related steps taken for COVID containment amount INR 15,000 crore, according to Government Reforms and Enablers.
The government has released INR 4,113 crore to states and spent INR 3,750 crore on essential items.
Technology Driven Education with Equity post-COVID
The government has launched PM eVIDYA for multi-mode access to online education comprising:
- DIKSHA for school education in states/UTs: e-content and QR coded
- Energized Textbooks for all grades (one nation, one digital platform)
- One earmarked TV channel per class from 1 to 12 (one class, one channel)
- Extensive use of Radio, Community radio and Podcasts
- Special e-content for visually and hearing impaired.
- Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30th May, 2020
- Manodarpan- An initiative for psychosocial support of students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional wellbeing to be launchedimmediately.
- New National Curriculum and Pedagogical framework for school, early childhood and teachers will be launched: integrated with global and 21st century skill requirements
- National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission for ensuring that every child attains Learning levels and outcomes in grade 5 by 2025 will be launched by December 2020
To support the IT sector, the government has initiated e-Sanjeevani Tele-Consultation Services. It has also started virtual learning modules at iGOT platform. For self assessment and contact tracing, and protection of health workers, it released Arogya Setu app.
For the protection of health workers, an amendment in Epidemic Diseases Act was done. Also, adequate supply of PPEs. PPEs amounting INR 51 lakh, HCQ tablets worth INR 11.08 crore and N95 masks costing INR 87 lakh have been supplied to date.
Steps to Bring Ease in Doing Business
At present, investors across the globe have looked at India's Doing Business Report (DBR) ranking. The government has published the following data in its report (Government Reforms and Enablers)
- Sustained measures taken have resulted in steadily improving India's position in World Bank’s Doing Business Report rank from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019
- This included streamlining processes such as granting of permits and clearance, self-certification and third party certification among others.
The reforms taken during the lockdown are here as follows
- Government is working on a mission mode on the next phase of Ease of Doing Business Reforms relating to easy registration of property, fast disposal of commercial disputes and simpler tax regime for making India one of the easiest places to do business
Minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings raised to INR 1 crore (from INR 1 lakh, which largely insulates MSMEs).
- Special insolvency resolution framework for MSMEs under Section 240A of the code to be notified soon.
- Suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year dependingupon the pandemic situation.
- Empowering Central Government to exclude COVID 19 related debt from the definition of “default” under the Code for the purpose of triggering insolvency proceedings.
Ease of Doing Business for Corporates
Improvement in rankings in ‘starting a business’ and ‘insolvency resolution’ have contributed to the overall improvement in India’s ranking on EoDB. The steps taken to give ease in carrying out business are as follow:
- Direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions
- Private companies which list NCDs on stock exchanges not to be regarded as listed companies.
- Including the provisions of Part IXA (Producer Companies) of Companies Act, 1956 in Companies Act, 2013
- Power to create additional/ specialized benches for NCLAT
- Lower penalties for all defaults for Small Companies, Oneperson Companies, Producer Companies & Start Ups
Increased allocation for MGNREGS to Provide Employment Boost
- Government will now allocate an additional INR 40,000 crore under MGNREGS
- The allocation will help generate nearly 300 crore person days in total
- Address need for more work including returning migrant workers in Monsoon season as well
- Creation of larger number of durable and livelihood assets including water conservation assets
- Will boost the rural economy through higher production.