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Centre raises guarantee on business loans to Rs 4.5 lakh crore – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The government will expand guarantees on loans to businesses to Rs 4.5 lakh crore from an earlier limit of Rs 3 lakh crore, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.
The Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), launched last year, has helped cash-starved small businesses to raise funds during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown for working capital and to meet their orders.
The government will extend benefits from the free foodgrain programme for poor people, launched last year, till November that will cost Rs 93,870 crore, bringing the total cost of the programme to more than Rs 2.27 lakh crore, the finance minister said.
The existing limit for ECLGS scheme, announced as part of Rs 20-lakh crore Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package in May 2020, was Rs 3 lakh crore.
Last month, the finance ministry expanded the scope of the Rs 3 lakh crore ECLGS by including concessional loans to hospitals for setting up on-site oxygen generation plants.
Besides, the validity of the scheme was extended by three months to September 30 and or till guarantees for an amount of Rs 3 lakh crore are issued.
The last date of disbursement under the scheme has been extended to December 31.
Meanwhile, India’s economic growth rate picked up in January-March to 1.6% from a year earlier, but economists are increasingly pessimistic about this quarter after a huge second wave of Covid-19 infections hit the country in April-May.
(With inputs from agencies)





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