Finance Minister Sitharaman assures industry of government’s support
The Finance Minister has asked industry leaders to wait and watch for the next few days to assess the situation
Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman has assured industry leaders of the government’s full support, urging them to wait and watch for the next few days to assess the situation.
Addressing the FICCI National Executive Committee Members on Wednesday through virtual mode, Sitharaman said that with the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, along with the new vaccination guidelines and with the five-fold strategy adopted in handling the COVID-19 cases — test, track, treat, COVID-19 protocols and vaccination — there will be a sense of reassurance.
“I would request the industry to watch the next few days a bit more carefully, and then assess for yourself what this quarter is going to be like,” the Finance Minister exhorted.
Sitharaman further stated that sectors like hospitality, aviation, travel, tourism and hotels faced great difficulty since the start of COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have extended the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECGLS 2.0) for these sectors and I will ensure the efficiency with which it was performing last year shall perform even for the aviation and tourism sector,” the Finance Minister said.
Speaking on the oxygen supply, the Finance Minister said that the supply has been very neatly mapped and new permissions have been given particularly for the hard stressed 12 states (Delhi, Maharashtra, UP, Chhattisgarh, MP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala).
The supply is being monitored at district level along with reviews which are being undertaken and for next 15 days they will be closely monitored.
“The government has exempted all inter-state movement of oxygen tankers, exempted from registration and permits, they can operate round the clock, and cylinder filling plants are operating 24 hours to fill the gaps with necessary safeguards,” the Finance Minister stated.
Elaborating on the augmented pharma capacity, she stated that steps have been taken adequately for drugs which are important, “we have given fast-track approvals for Remdesvir production”.
The Finance Minister also said that as soon as the medical oxygen demand will be met, the industry would also get the necessary supply of oxygen since the import of medical oxygen has been allowed.