Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked the industry to wait and watch for next few days to assess the situation arising out of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. “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,” Ms Sitharaman said in a virtual address to the FICCI National Executive Committee members.
The Finance Minister’s interactions with the FICCI National Executive Committee covered issues such as oxygen shortage, Covid crisis and its impact on economic sectors.
Dwelling on specific sectors, Nirmala Sitharaman said that hospitality, aviation, travel, tourism and hotels have 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, Ms Sitharaman 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.
Elaborating on the augmented pharma capacity, Ms Sitharaman stated that steps have been taken for important drugs; we have given fast-track approvals for Remdesvir production.