Covid loan scheme: FM calls for speedy implementation

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September 01, 2021 1:45 AM

While nobody wants a third wave, “we can’t just wish it away”, the minister said, stressing the need to be on guard and to step up preparations to deal with any situation.

She called on officials and lenders to sensitise all stakeholders — banks, medical fraternity, pharma industry or medical devices players — at the regional level and undertake various awareness campaigns.She called on officials and lenders to sensitise all stakeholders — banks, medical fraternity, pharma industry or medical devices players — at the regional level and undertake various awareness campaigns.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday called for expeditious implementation of the Rs 50,000-crore loan guarantee scheme for covid-affected sectors. The programme was announced in late June, as part of the Rs 6.29-lakh-crore relief package, to bolster healthcare infrastructure in non-metros to prepare for any exigency if a third Covid wave hits the country.

While nobody wants a third wave, “we can’t just wish it away”, the minister said, stressing the need to be on guard and to step up preparations to deal with any situation.

“We need this (scheme) to be done within time. We need this to be done all over the country, especially in those parts where we have less medical infrastructure… I think there needs to be a lot more information sharing in local areas,” she said in a webinar.

Sitharaman said she would, through the department of financial services, monitor the progress of the scheme on a weekly basis.

She called on officials and lenders to sensitise all stakeholders — banks, medical fraternity, pharma industry or medical devices players — at the regional level and undertake various awareness campaigns.

SBI managing director CS Setty said about 2,800 applications have been received under the scheme and the average loan ticket size so far is Rs 1.2 crore. About 40% of the sanction and disbursement is to diagnostic centres, he added.
Under this Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid-Affected Sectors (LGSCAS), credit of Rs 50,000 crore will be extended to private hospitals to expand their existing facilities or set up new units outside top eight cities.

Each investor can be granted a maximum of Rs 100- crore loan. The interest rate will be capped at 7.95% per annum. The guarantee coverage, available for three years, will be limited to 50% for expansion and 75% for new projects. However, the coverage will be 75% for both greenfield and brownfield projects in the 125 “aspirational districts” notified by the government.

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