Commerce and Industry Minister directs officials to come up with such a mechanism. 

 

New Delhi: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry headed by Piyush Goyal has directed officials to set up a mechanism to ensure proper disbursal of loans provided under the recent economic package.

Following stress on the agricultural sector caused by the lockdown clamped to check the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced medium to long-term relief package of Rs 20 lakh crore on 12 May, but the real challenge before the Centre is to ensure the proper utilisation of this stimulus package.

The Prime Minister stressed that the package, that is almost equivalent to 10% of India’s Gross Domestic Product, will provide the much-needed boost towards achieving an “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-dependent India). Subsequently, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman provided the details of the package.

In this direction, the Commerce and Industry Minister has directed officials to create a mechanism to prevent “roadblock tendencies” and ensure proper utilisation of the economic package as per the announcement made by Finance Minister Sitharaman.

Measures like setting up of a mechanism to ensure proper disbursal of loans were also demanded by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a leading trade body of the country. Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General of the CAIT, told this paper that the Commerce and Industry Minister is seriously looked into their demand and taking note of the suggestions of CAIT, Piyush Goyal has directed his officials to come up with such a mechanism.

Besides the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, similar provisions are being explored by the Ministry of Finance to ensure proper utilisation of the economic package announced by the Prime Minister.

A senior Ministry of Finance official told The Sunday Guardian: “The past experience has been such that the Central government is worried about the misuse of Central funds at the bureaucratic and local government levels. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance is stressing on the need to have a mechanism to check the misuse of the economic package and ensure the proper use of it.”

“Especially the provisions which allow economic stimulus for the agriculture sector may be misused at the local level and to avoid such a situation, the Ministry of Finance has already suggested a blueprint for proper utilisation of the economic package,” the same official cited above said.

The Centre will also launch a web portal where aggrieved traders, MSME owners, and individual farmers can register their grievances.