Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, contrary to repeated concerns about providing relief to the country’s middle class, badly hit by the second wave of COVID-19, the government has taken several measures to address the issue to tackle.
In an exclusive interview with Business Today, FM Sitharaman stated that from time to time the aforementioned segment as well as the companies have received relief through the Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) Investment Fund, Emergency, Credit Guarantee Liquidity Scheme (ECGLS ) for the MSME sector.
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“I find this concern about the ‘middle class’ addressed again and again. Doesn’t the middle class among farmers benefit from public procurement? Didn’t middle-class homebuyers get through the SWAMIH (Special Window for Completion of Construction of Affordable and Middle-Income Housing Projects), “the Finance Minister stated.
“There is also the Emergency Credit Guarantee Liquidity Scheme (ECGLS) for the MSME sector, in which 20 percent of their outstanding loans without collateral are granted as loans for which the state guarantees has been increased to 40 percent. Aren’t there middle-class people running them? “She added.
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The second wave of COVID-19 hit India’s middle class with brute force, with many reports suggesting the recent outbreak could have long-term effects on middle-class Indians.
The latest suggestion came from a FICCI poll that suggested household incomes, as well as business confidence, have fallen due to a large-scale second wave of coronavirus infections.
The survey suggested several measures that suggested income tax breaks for the middle class and temporary cuts in indirect taxes for businesses.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) poll in May also showed that consumer confidence hit an all-time low.