Centre-industry trust critical during pandemic: Sitharaman

Govt. focus is on ramping up vaccination, boosting health infrastructure, says FM

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that the trust between government and industry is critical for leveraging opportunities thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also gave the assurance that the proposed development finance institution, the National Bank for Infrastructure Financing and Development, would become functional ‘soon’. She was addressing members of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

This trust is also reflected in the government’s actions, she said. Elaborating on the government’s strategy for handling the pandemic, the Minister said that on the one hand the focus was on ramping up vaccination as that was the biggest protection against the pandemic, while on the other hand, the government was working on ramping up health infrastructure, including in the tier 2 and tier 3 cities, by supporting the private sector.

Liquidity is no longer a major concern, she said, while pointing out that the Bank-NBFC-MFI channel had been de-clogged. From October 15, there would be a special drive to reach credit to those who need it, the Finance Minister said.

Parliament had earlier this year passed a Bill to set up a ₹20,000 crore DFI with a view to mobilise ₹111 lakh crore required for funding of the ambitious national infrastructure pipeline, which has more than 7,000 greenfield and brownfield projects.

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