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Economic Relief Tranche 4: Reforms in Important Industrial Sectors Like Coal, Defence Production and Space

4th tranche of economic package

In the fourth tranche of economic package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman touched upon eight industrial sector and announced a series of reforms related to them. She counted the prior reform measures that the Modi government undertook, which serve as the foundations for the new set of reforms being announced over the past few days, such as forming of Empowered Group of Secretaries for the policy reforms to fast-tracked investment.

Reforms in Coal
  • Govt will introduce competition, transparency, and private sector participation in the Coal Sector through revenue sharing mechanism instead of the regime of fixed rupee/tonne. Earlier only captive consumer with end-use ownership could place bids.
  • The government also announced investment of ₹50,000 crores for the evacuation of enhanced CIL’s (Coal India Limited) target of 1 billion tons of coal production by 2023-24 alongside coal production from private blocks.
Reforms in Minerals
  • 500 mining blocks will be offered through an open and transparent auction process, and joint auction of Bauxite and Coal mineral blocks will be introduced to enhance Aluminium industry’s competitiveness.
  • Rationalisation of stamp duty payable at the time of award of mining leases shall be ensured.
Make in India in Defence
  • Government will notify a list of weapons/platforms for ban on import of foreign products with year wise timelines. There will be indigenisation of imported spares.
  • Foreign Direct Investment limit in defence manufacturing under automatic route has been raised from 49% to 74%.
  • Corporatisation will be brought into the administration of Ordnance Factory Boards, which the Finance Ministry stressed will help them become more accountable.
Overhaul in Aviation Sectors
  • Restrictions on the utilisation of Indian Air Space will be eased so that civilian flying becomes more efficient. This is anticipated to bring a total benefit of ₹1,000 crores per year for the aviation sector. The measure which will be brought after the consultation with military authorities, will result in fuel efficiency.
  • Airports Authority of India has awarded 3 airports out of 6 bids for operation & maintenance on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) basis. Additional investment by private players in 12 airports in first & second rounds expected around Rs 13,000 crores.
  • The tax regime for the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) ecosystem has been rationalized. Aircraft component repairs and airframe maintenance to increase from Rs 800 crores to Rs 2000 crores in 3 years. This will help India to become a global hub for MRO.
Reforms in Electricity Distribution
  • A Tariff policy with reforms will be released, including consumer rights, promotion of industry and sustainability of sector.
  • Sub-optimal performance of power distribution & supply, power departments/utilities in Union Territories will be privatised.
Social Infrastructure

Revamped Viability Gap Funding Scheme of ₹8,100 crores to boost private sector investment in Social Infrastructure has been announced. The limit has been raised to 30% for state and central bodies funding such projects.

Avenues in Space
  • A level-playing field shall be ensured for private companies in satellites, launches & space-based services making them co-travellers.
  • Private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities. Future projects for planetary exploration, outer space travel, etc. shall be opened up for the private sector
  • Indian tech-entrepreneurs will be given access to geo-spatial data for their relevant projects.
Atomic Energy Reforms
  • Technology Development cum Incubation Centres will be set up for fostering synergy between research facilities and tech entrepreneurs.