GUWAHATI, May 18 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s Rs 20 lakh crore �generous� package will directly touch 50 per cent of the State population and increase the fiscal space of the State government by Rs 10,000 crore, giving a �reasonable hope� that all its budgetary announcement will be protected, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said today.
Addressing a press conference here, Sarma said the State will also announce some schemes to supplement the PM�s package and make it even more relevant for Assam. For this, a committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary (Finance) Samir Sinha.
Elaborating on how the Central announcements will impact Assam, Sarma said the increase in �Ways and Limit Advances� limit by 60 per cent would mean the State would be able to borrow Rs 1,504 crore from RBI for a period of three months.
�Also, the number of days the State can be in continuous overdraft has been increased from 14 days to 21 days. These fiscal weapons will bring in liquidity to the system and will help us keep floating even in the most negative situations,� he said, adding that the banking system will also be full of funds, including for farmer loans.
Sarma said the electricity consumers have not paid bills for the last two months, putting a fiscal pressure on the APDCL which is unable to pay the generating companies.
�Now, the Centre has said the states can borrow money to pay the generating companies. This will give a breathing space to discoms like APDCL, otherwise there would have been problems of power supply,� Sarma said.
Moreover, some 66,000 MSMEs in the State will be eligible for bank loans with cent per cent credit guarantee and without any mortgage. �No collateral security will be required in case of such loans. This apart, those MSMEs which have turned NPAs will have a chance to come back following the announcement of the one-time waiver in the form of subordinate debt provision,� Sarma said.
He said the two per cent interest subvention on Mudra loans will benefit 20 lakh beneficiaries in the State.
�The Centre will deposit Rs 1,500 in the Jan Dhan accounts of one crore people in the State. Thirty five lakh people having Ujjwala connections will get three free cylinders, while an ex gratia of Rs 1,000 is being given to 8.5 lakh old age pensioners,� Sarma said.