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Cabinet approves Rs 6,28,993 crore stimulus package to bail-out COVID-19 hit economy

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a Rs 6,28,993 crore stimulus package announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to bail out the Covid-hit economy.

This was informed by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar while briefing mediapersons about the Cabinet decisions.

Sitharaman here on Monday announced a stimulus package of over Rs 6 lakh crore to provide loans to COVID-19-affected sectors, emergency credit to small businessmen and free visas to tourists, enhance health infrastructure and extend employment scheme among others for uplifting the severely battered economy.

She announced Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for COVID-19 affected sectors, of which Rs 50,000 crore was allotted to the health sector for upscaling medical infrastructure with a focus on underserved areas and Rs 60,000 crore for other sectors.

A new Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme of Rs 1.5 lakh crore was announced to facilitate loans to 25 lakh persons through Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs).

To revive one of the most affected tourism sectors, Sitharaman announced financial support to more than 11,000 registered tourist guides or travel and tourism stakeholders.

Under the new Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID Affected Sectors, working capital or personal loans will be provided to people in the tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to COVID-19.

In another announcement, first five lakh tourists will be given visas free of charge. “Benefit will be available only once per tourist. The scheme will be applicable till March 31, 2022, or till 5 lakh visas are issued, whichever is earlier,’ the Union Finance Minister said.

Sitharaman announced the extension of Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana from June 30, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

Providing more support to the health sector, Ms Sitharaman allotted Rs 23,220 crore more for public health.

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