Finance ministry will only focus on rolling out funds for schemes under the PM Garib Kalyan Package, the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package and any other special package announced in the view of fighting coronavirus crisis.
The finance ministry has asked other ministries and departments to put brakes on schemes and proposals which are outside the ambit of Narendra Modi’s Rs 21 lakh crore Atma Nirbhar Bharat package. To use the resources in an effective manner in fighting coronavirus, the finance ministry said the schemes that are already approved for the current fiscal will also remain suspended till further orders, PTI reported citing an office memorandum by the Department of Expenditure. Nirmala Sitharaman-led finance ministry, however, said that the focus will be on rolling out funds for schemes under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package and any other special package announced in the view of fighting coronavirus crisis.
Highlighting the unprecedented demand on public financial resources and the need for its effective utilisation, the government said that it has been receiving many new proposals for in-principle approval from various ministries or departments. However, it added that the expenditure department has already given an interim extension for such schemes till March 31, 2021, or till the date the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission come into effect.
Further, the memorandum stated that no funds will be released for schemes that are not in strict conformity to the instructions, nor there will be any re-appropriation to such schemes. In the wake of a major disruption in the country’s economic activity, FM Sitharaman detailed out the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package and PM Garib Kalyan package to provide cushion to the weak financial conditions of people and businesses.
While the government’s package aimed to give cash in hand to poor, farmers, senior-citizens, and other sections of the society in need, it also assured easy credit to street vendors, farmers, and small businesses with government-backed cheap loans. Meanwhile, to provide further relief to states amid the coronavirus outbreak, the finance ministry has released Rs 36,400 crore to states as compensation for their revenue loss in the goods and services tax (GST) regime for the period from December 2019 to February 2020.