Sitharaman assures industry of government’s support

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday urged the industry to wait and watch for next few days to assess the situation amid the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, while assured it of full government support.

Addressing the FICCI National Executive Committee members through virtual mode, she said that with the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, along with the new vaccination guidelines and with the five-fold strategy adopted in handling the Covid-19 cases – i.e., test, track, treat, COVID-19 protocols and vaccination – there will be a sense of reassurance.

“With all these steps, we should hope to see a positive change in the way the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic is moving. Industry is watching out and I would want you (industry) to keenly observe what is going on and we are together with the industry in (fighting) this (pandemic). I am sure all of us together will understand how best to now ramp-up and sustain the growth momentum which all of us are keen to see between the last quarter and this quarter,” Sitharaman added.

“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,” the Finance Minister exhorted.

Sitharaman stated that sectors like hospitality, aviation, travel, tourism and hotels faced great difficulty since the start of the 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,” she said.

FICCI President Uday Shankar said that some clarity may be needed over essential and non-essential supply of goods. He further stressed on the need to support the MSME sector which is currently under facing difficulty.