Listing measures to rev up the slowing economy, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a special window of Rs 10,000 crore to provide last mile funding for completion of ongoing housing projects which are not NPAs or facing bankruptcy proceedings and offer affordable housing.
Addressing the media, she announced that ECB guidelines will be relaxed to encourage affordable housing. This will be meant for buyers eligible under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, after consultations with RBI. Besides, interest rate on house building advance will be lowered. The finance minister also said that government employees will have a major contribution in the demand for houses.
To boost exports, India will organize a mega annual shopping festival on the lines of Dubai from next year, Sitharaman announced. The blueprint for export revival includes a new scheme to refund duties and taxes on exports, replacing existing schemes.
“This will incentivize all exporters more than existing schemes put together. The revenue forgone is projected at up to Rs 50,000 crore,” she said. Businesses will also get a fully automated electronic refund system for GST credits. The new system will be implemented from January 1, next year.
These measures come in the wake of a sharp economic slump affecting almost every sector.
According to figures released by the commerce ministry, India’s merchandise exports declined by 6.05% in August while merchandize exports declined 13.45%.