PM calls for new structural reforms to stimulate economy

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a new thrust to economic reforms to offset the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and spur growth in the days ahead, even as he discussed new intervention strategies with key ministries, including the finance ministry.

During a series of meetings with various ministries, the prime minister stressed the need to strengthen major structural reforms undertaken in the past and new structural reforms in the areas of corporate governance, credit markets and infrastructure sectors. 
At a meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman and finance ministry officials, the PM pointed out the need to support MSMEs and farmers, enhance liquidity and strengthen credit flows. 
Dwelling on the issue of welfare of workers and the common man, PM pointed out the need to generate gainful employment opportunities by helping businesses overcome difficulties due to disruptions brought about by Covid-19.
The PM also discussed ways and means to ensure financial stability in the wake of Covid-19.
Prime minister stressed the need to take speedy measures to commence work on new infrastructure projects in the infrastructure sector so as to make up for the time lost in Covid-19. He wanted the projects taken up under the National Infrastructure Pipeline be reviewed at the highest level frequently so as to avoid time delays and enable creation of jobs. 
The task force on NIP has recently submitted a report, which projected a staggering Rs111 lakh crore investment in the infrastructure sector by 2024-25.
It was also discussed that the reform initiatives undertaken by the various ministries should continue unabated and action should be taken in a time bound manner to remove any obstacles to investment flows and capital formation.
The meeting was attended by the home minister, finance minister, secretaries of the ministry of finance along with senior officials of the Government of India.
Earlier in the day, MSME minister Nitin Gadkari said that his ministry has suggested a relief package to the prime minister and the finance minister for the medium, small and micro sector and exuded confidence that an announcement would be made soon.
"Chaired a meeting on strengthening our MSME sector, which plays a pivotal role in economic development. There were extensive discussions on ways to make this sector more vibrant, attractive and ready to embrace new opportunities," the prime minister said in a tweet after the meeting.
The prime minister in another tweet said, "Held a meeting to discuss subjects related to the financial world, including structural reforms that will give a boost to growth and public welfare. We reviewed strategies to support the MSME sector and ensure liquidity & credit supply."
The central government is focused on ensuring welfare of workers, helping businesses overcome the difficulties arising in the wake of COVID-19, reforms in corporate governance, credit markets and the infra sector, he said.
During another meeting concerning the farm sector, various reforms in agriculture marketing, management of marketable surplus, access of farmers to institutional credit and freeing the agriculture sector of various restrictions with appropriate backing of the statute were discussed.
The focus was on making strategic interventions in the existing marketing eco-system and bringing appropriate reforms in the context of rapid agricultural development, an official statement said.
"Concessional credit flow to strengthen agriculture infrastructure, special Kisan Credit Card saturation drive for PM-Kisan beneficiaries and facilitating inter and intra-state trade of agriculture produce to ensure the fairest return to farmer were some of the important areas covered. Developing e-NAM into a platform of platforms to enable e-commerce was one of the important topics of discussion," it said.
A discussion also emanated on the possibilities of the uniform statutory framework in the country to facilitate new ways for farming which will infuse capital and technology in agrarian economy, it said, adding, the pros and cons of bio-technological developments in crops or enhancement of productivity and reduction in input costs were also deliberated.
During the deliberations, each ministry made recommendations and possible steps to be taken in the short run to prop up the sector administered by them.
After a detailed review of every sector, a relief and stimulus package will be worked out, sources said.
The prime minister already had meetings with different ministries including civil aviation, labour and power on Friday. He had detailed deliberation with commerce and industry ministry among others on Thursday.