No New Scheme for a Year: Union Finance Ministry

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The Union Finance Ministry on Friday said that there will be no new schemes for a year, a move aimed at tightening the spending even as the country is witnessing an uptick in coronavirus cases.

The ministry said only the ones sanctioned and announced under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and other special packages will be attended to. The schemes already approved under the Budget will also stay suspended till March 31, the ministry said.

A statement issued by the finance ministry said, “In-principle approval for such schemes will not be given this financial year. Initiation of new schemes already appraised/approved will remain suspended for one year till March 31, 2021.”

Fighting the falling revenues due to a long-drawn-out lockdown, necessitated by the coronavirus epidemic, various state governments too have put a freeze on spending.

Amid calls for support, the Centre did announce Rs 20 lakh crore financial stimulus packages to give more money into people’s hands and to push spending.

However, India’s economic growth slipped to 3.1 percent in the January-March quarter of 2019-20 showing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded by 5.7 percent in the corresponding quarter of 2018-19. In 2019-20, the Indian economy grew by 4.2 percent against 6.1 percent expansion in 2018-19.

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