new Delhi. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced the fourth part of the Self-Reliant India Package. Today's package focused on reforms. The government today announced several reforms and reform processes to increase investment and private participation in 8 sectors and ease of business for all parties. Today's announcements have been made for coal, minerals, defense production, aviation sector, power distribution, social infrastructure, space, and nuclear power. Most of the reforms announced today by the government are aimed at increasing the private sector's participation in these sectors, so that domestic companies get better opportunities and more employment to the common people.
The government has announced several steps to accelerate coal mining and make it more attractive to the private sector. According to the government, emphasis is being laid on increasing competition and transparency in the area. For this, the government will bring a model based on revenue sharing in place of fixed price per tonne, any interested party will be allowed to bid in coal blocks and sell coal in the open market. A plan has also been announced to put up about 50 coal blocks for immediate bidding. Partially searched blocks will be put up for bidding wherein the bidding company will be able to pick up the blocks based on further exploration and production. Private sector will be promoted in search of coal reserves. Companies that start production ahead of time will get incentives in the form of revenue sharing, along with this a plan of 50 thousand crores for coal mining infrastructure has also been put forward. At the same time, there are also plans for changes in the sector for the betterment of the environment.
The Finance Minister has today announced several reforms for minerals as well. The government has put forward a joint system of exploration, mining and production. According to the Finance Minister, 500 mining blocks will be put up for bid under the transparent auction process. To reduce the cost of aluminum industry, a joint auction of bauxite and coal mineral blocks will be done. Along with this, it is also proposed to develop the mineral index of the government. At the same time, the Finance Minister has also proposed to improve the stamp duty on mining lease.
The government has announced to increase the FDI limit in defense production from 49 percent to 74 percent. Along with this, the government announced several reform measures to increase the participation of domestic companies in defense production. According to the Finance Minister, changes have been made to help domestic companies in the arms and defense equipment procurement process. As a result, domestic companies will get more and more orders and dependence on imports will be reduced. Along with this, there will be necessary changes in the structure of the Ordinance Factory Board to increase autonomy, accountability and efficiency in the arms supply process.
The Finance Minister announced that regulations regarding Indian airspace would be relaxed so that flights could be operated more efficiently. These reforms are expected to benefit the airlines by Rs 1000 crore annually. At the same time 12 new airports will also be built with the help of private companies. Along with this, several announcements have been made to make the country a center for MRO (Maintenance, repair overhaul).
Power distribution companies
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that power distribution companies will be privatized in the union territories. Privatization will provide better service to consumers and improve power distribution and financials of companies. This model can later be replicated in other states. A revised electricity tariff policy will also be issued in the coming days. According to the Finance Minister, this policy will focus on promoting consumer rights and industry and strengthening the power sector.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced to increase the financial assistance given by the government to make social infrastructure economically viable. According to the Finance Minister, Rs 8,100 crore will be provided for the development of social infrastructure. Social infrastructure includes hospitals, schools, colleges, roads, railways.
A number of reforms have also been announced to increase private sector participation in space programs. According to the Finance Minister, the private sector will now be able to take advantage of ISRO's technologies, labs and other such facilities. At the same time, future space missions will also open for the private sector. The data from the satellites will also be shared with the tech-traders.
Nuclear power technology
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India will set up a research-focused nuclear plant on PPP model for the production of medical isotopes. He said that it will produce medical isotopes and provide affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases. He said that the research reactor to be prepared on the basis of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will use radiation technology to accelerate food conservation, agricultural reforms and help farmers.
This post was published on May 16, 2020 8:45 pm
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