The series of measures announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in his address to the nation on the eve of the New Year represent a massive leap forward towards a more inclusive society. The announcements are truly transformative and have touched the most vulnerable sections of our society – farmers, urban poor, women and senior citizens. There could not have been a better start to the New Year and FICCI strongly welcomes these moves and compliments the government for its long term vision for the nation and our people.
Any support extended to the housing sector will have a multiplier effect on the economy given the forward and backward linkages of this sector. We can thus look forward to better economic performance in the coming years as affordable housing has been given impetus through the two new schemes announced today by the Hon’ble Prime Minister. Interest subvention for the construction sector is a direct economic stimulus and will also help in generation of jobs.
The support rendered to the famers by way of exemption of interest payments for sixty days on farm loans, provision of additional funds to NABARD and through the plan to convert Kisan Credit Cards into Rupay Cards is very timely and will offer them the much needed reprieve.
Small businesses and MSMEs that are the backbone of our industrial economy and the real generators of jobs have also been brought into focus by the Prime Minister. Enhancing the limit from 1 crore to 2 crore for credit guarantee and increasing the cash credit limit from 20 per cent to 25 per cent will help them in their working capital requirements and keep the trade moving at a time when re-monetisation process is still ongoing.
FICCI also welcomes the measures announced for boosting digital transactions by businesses and will work with the government to achieve the objective of moving over to the new digital means of payments.
The scheme under which senior citizens will be given an interest of 8 per cent per annum for the next ten years on deposits of up to 7.5 lakhs will ensure a steady flow of income for meeting expenses for our elderly in their twilight years.
Finally, the contribution of Rs. 6000 into the accounts of pregnant women will help in reducing maternal and infant mortality as this money can be used for better quality diet, vaccination and sanitation for both mother and child. This is perhaps the most progressive move that we have seen in decades in our country to support expecting mothers.