To help revival of the economy battered by COVID-19, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a slew of measures, including Rs 1.1 lakh crore credit guarantee scheme for improving health infrastructure, and enhancing the limit under the ECLGS by 50 per cent to Rs 4.5 lakh crore for the MSME sector facing liquidity crunch. Sharing the details of stimulus package, the finance minister said this comprises eight relief measures and other eight measures to support the economic growth.
She announced Rs 1.1 lakh crore loan guarantee scheme for COVID-affected sectors, including health sector, which includes guarantee cover for expansion or for new projects. Besides, she said, additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore limit enhancement done for Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) scheme. The existing limit for ECLGS scheme, announced as part of Rs 20-lakh crore Atmanirbhar Bharat Abiyan package in May 2020, was Rs 3 lakh crore. Last month, the finance ministry expanded the scope of the Rs 3 lakh crore ECLGS by including concessional loans to hospitals for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants.
Besides, the validity of the scheme was extended by three months to September 30 and or till guarantees for an amount of Rs 3 lakh crore are issued. The last date of disbursement under the scheme has been extended to December 31. Under the ECLGS 4.0, 100 per cent guarantee cover was given to loans up to Rs 2 crore to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, medical colleges for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants. The interest rate on these loans has been capped at 7.5 per cent, which means the banks can offer loans less than this ceiling.