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Rs. 20-L cr stimulus leaves India Inc in misery!

Much-hyped pandemic package expires, bequeathing @ 15% as loans

Rs. 20-L cr stimulus leaves India Inc in misery!

Rs. 20-L cr stimulus leaves India Inc in misery!

It's official. The much-touted Rs 20-lakh crore special pandemic package, announced in May 2020 to revive the Covid-hit economy, was apparently a dud, according to a reply under RTI released here on Wednesday.

Hoping to unravel the exact benefits of the historic financial package after its validity ended in March 2021, a Pune-based businessman Prafful Sarda filed a query under RTI, but after over four months, got a shocking reply from the Centre. The Centre has said that in view of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, "additional borrowing limit of up to two per cent GSDP was allowed to the state under the 'Atmanirbhar Package for the year 2020-2021." Accordingly, under this head, the Centre permitted states to make 'additional borrowings amounting to Rs 3,19,939 crore during the fiscal 2020-2021, the RTI response said. Of this (Rs 319,939-crore), the states which availed the highest 'additional borrowings' are: Maharashtra (Rs 30,788-crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 29,108-crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs 28,880-crore), Karnataka (Rs 27,955-crore), Gujarat (Rs 26,112-crore), and Rajasthan (Rs 21,301-crore) – in the upper bracket. State like Andhra Pradesh (Rs 19,192-crore), Kerala (Rs 18,087-crore), Madhya Pradesh (Rs 18,034-crore), Telangana (Rs 17,558-crore), West Bengal (Rs 13,574-crore), Haryana (Rs 12,878-crore), and Punjab (Rs 10,917-crore) - are in the middle bracket.

Rest include: Odisha (Rs 9,716-crore), Bihar (Rs 7,754-crore), Uttarakhand (Rs 5,617-crore), Assam (Rs 5,418-crore), Chhattisgarh (Rs 5,374-crore), Jharkhand (Rs 3,530-crore), Himachal Pradesh (Rs 2,892-crore), Goa (Rs 1,738-crore), Tripura (Rs 1,127-crore) – fall in the lower bracket.

Incidentally, all the smaller states of north-east dared to avail 'additional borrowings' of less than Rs 1,000-crore: Meghalaya (Rs 542-crore), Manipur (Rs 497-crore), Arunachal Pradesh (Rs 399-crore), Sikkim (Rs 373-crore), Nagaland (Rs 314-crore), Mizoram (Rs 264-crore) – totaling to just Rs2,389-crore.

Sarda pointed out that this innocuously-worded 'additional borrowings' are repayable sometime in the future, maybe with interest and this comes to Rs 24 per head loan on each Indian, against the promised Rs 150 per Indian under the total (Rs 20 lakh cr) package.

Quaid Najmi
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