A day after an RBI report indicated that India may have officially entered its first ever recession, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced the next set of stimulus measures to boost the economy. One of the key announcements was the launch of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, "a scheme to incentivise creation of new employment opportunities during COVID recovery phase". The Central government will provide subsidy for two years in respect of new eligible employees engaged on or after October 1, 2020, totalling 24 per cent of wages in establishments employing up to 1,000 employees.
As part of the new scheme, if new employees of requisite number are recruited during the said period, the establishments will be covered for the next two years, the finance minister said.
Employees who earn less than Rs 15,000 per month and lost their jobs between March 1 and September 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic will also be treated as new employees under the new employment scheme. AtmaNirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana will be operational till June 30, 2021.
"Every EPFO registered organisation—if they take in new employees or those who had lost jobs between March 1 and September 30—these employees will get the benefits of the new scheme," the minister said.
The labour ministry with the finance ministry and other concerned ministries are working together closely with the states, and work has commenced on creating a portal for migrant workers, Sitharaman said during the press conference announcing the new measures on Thursday.
Further, the finance minister also announced that the existing Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) would be extended till March 31, 2021. "Guaranteed credit support for 26 stressed sectors that have been identified by the Kamath Committee. Original ECLGS had one year of moratorium and 4 years of repayment, the new scheme will have a 1-year moratorium and 5 years of repayment," Sitharaman announced.
As per the scheme, entities will get additional credit up to 20 per cent of outstanding credit. The repayment can be done in five years' time (1 year moratorium + 4 years repayment), said Sitharaman.
This is a developing story.