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Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan Part-5: Government reforms detailed by Nirmala Sitharaman

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fifth and final tranche of Atma Nirbhar Bharat PackageOn May 18, 2020, Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman detailed the fifth and final part of the Special economic and comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crores to support Indian economy in the fight against COVID-19 during her 5th press conference in New Delhi. Its first part was presented on May 13, 2020 Click Here to Read while its Part 2 was presented on May 14 Click Here to Read and 3rd part was presented on May 15. Click Here to Read.

  • The Part 5 of “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan” (self-reliant India Movement) is focused on seven areas viz. MNREGA, Health and Education, Business during Covid, Decriminalisation of Company Act, Ease of doing business, Policy related to Public Sector Units, State government and resources related to it.

Following are the details of the fifth and final tranche of package:

 –Rs 40,000 crores increase in allocation for MGNREGS to provide employment boost

Under the MNREGA scheme, an additional Rs 40,000 crore will be allocated for employment generation in the rural parts of the country. This will help to generate nearly 300 crore person days to provide relief to the migrant workers.

–Health Reforms & Initiatives

Government will increase investment in public health, by setting up Infectious Disease Hospital Blocks in every district and Public health labs in every block (not just in district) to bridge inadequacy of lab network in rural areas

  • Research will be encouraged through National Institutional Platform for One health by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research).
  • The blueprint of National Digital Health Mission will be implemented.

About ICMR:
Headquarters– New Delhi
Director General– Prof. Balram Bhargava

–Technology Driven Education with Equity post-COVID by launching PM eVIDYA

A programe named “PM eVIDYA” is to be launched immediately. It is a multi-mode access to online education consisting of:

  • DIKSHA for school education in states/UTs: e-content and QR coded
  • Energized Textbooks for all grades (one nation, one digital platform)
  • One earmarked TV channel per class from 1 to 12 (one class, one channel)
  • Extensive use of Radio, Community radio and Podcasts
  • Special e-content for visually and hearing impaired.
  • Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30th May, 2020.

Manodarpan– It is an initiative for psychosocial support of students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional wellbeing to be launched immediately.

New National Curriculum and Pedagogical framework for school, early childhood and teachers will be launched: integrated with global and 21st century skill requirements.

National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission for ensuring that every child attains Learning levels and outcomes in grade 5 by 2025 will be launched by December 2020.

–Enhancement of Ease of Doing business through IBC related measures

Minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings raised to Rs. 1 crore from Rs. 1 lakh along with creation of special insolvency resolution framework for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under Section 240A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC).

  • Suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year depending upon the pandemic situation.
  • Coronavirus-related debt will be excluded from definition of default

–Decriminalisation of Companies Act defaults

Decriminalization of Companies Act violations involving minor technical and procedural defaults (shortcomings in CSR reporting, inadequacies in board report, filing defaults, delay in holding AGM).

  • Majority of the compoundable offences sections to be shifted to internal adjudication mechanism (IAM).
  • The Amendments will de-clog the criminal courts and National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
  • 7 compoundable offences will be dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework

–Ease of Doing Business for Corporates

Centre has allowed direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions while Private companies which list (Non-Convertible Debentures) on stock exchanges not to be regarded as listed companies.

  • The provisions of Part IXA (Producer Companies) of Companies Act, 1956 will be included in the Companies Act, 2013.
  • Power to create additional/ specialized benches for National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)
  • Lower penalties for all defaults for Small Companies, Oneperson Companies, Producer Companies & Start Ups.

–Public Sector Enterprise Policy for a New, Self-reliant India

Government will announce a new policy whereby in strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed.

  • In others ectors, PSEs (public sector enterprises) will be privatized (timing to be based on feasibility etc.)
  • To minimize wasteful administrative costs, number of enterprises in strategic sectors will ordinarily be only one to four; others will be privatized/ merged/ brought under holding companies.

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