Centre Likely to Announce Stimulus 4.0 Near Diwali, Urban Jobs Scheme Likely to be Dropped

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The government is likely to announce another round of stimulus measures for industries hit by the Covid-19 pandemic ahead of Diwali. The measures may include a push for infrastructure with urban projects in focus, extension of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to more sectors, and sector-specific interventions in hospitality and tourism industries.

The Centre is currently working on this stimulus package, which will be the fourth set of measures since March, a report by Moneycontrol said.

However, the government has for now deferred the proposal of an urban jobs programme as policymakers at the Centre are of the view that investment by it and its state-owned companies into urban projects will lead to employment generation without resorting to a separate scheme.

"The focus will be on projects, especially in Tier 1 to Tier 4 cities, where money can be pumped in to enable quick gestation periods and completion times. This will generate substantial employment," Moneycontrol quoted a senior official as saying.

The fresh measures will identify 20-25 projects from the National Infrastructure Pipeline, where capital expenditure can be pumped in expeditiously. These projects are likely to include the proposed airports in Navi Mumbai and Greater Noida, the official said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a slew of measures to spur demand and ramp up capital expenditure earlier this month. This was the third stimulus package since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government had announced a Rs 1.70 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKP) in March to protect the poor and vulnerable sections from the impact of COVID-19 crisis. It was followed by the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package of Rs 20.97 lakh crore in May, largely focussed on supply side measures and long-term reforms.

Last week, Sitharaman had said the option for another stimulus package has not been closed.