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Nirmala Sitharaman announces job creation scheme, tax sops for home buyers

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In a bid to boost economic growth that has been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a new job creation scheme—Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana. Sitharaman also announced tax sops for home buyers.

The announcements were made under the Atmanirbhar 3.0 stimulus measures.

Addressing a press conference to announce more stimulus measures to boost growth, she said id the Indian economy is witnessing a strong recovery after a long and strict lockdown.

Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, the subsidy will be given to those establishments that hire new employees. The subsidy would be to cover for retirement fund contributions by employees as well as employers for two years, she said.

The finance minister said: “Employees contribution (12 per cent of wages) and employer’s contribution (12 per cent of wages) totalling 24 per cent of wages would be given to establishments for two years.”

Every Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) registered establishment taking new employees will get the subsidy. The scheme will cover any new employee joining employment in an EPFO-registered establishment on monthly wages less than Rs 15,000.

It would also cover EPF members drawing monthly wages of less than Rs 15,000, who made an exit from employment during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 1, 2020, and is employed on or after October 1, 2020.

The scheme would cover establishments registered with EPFO if they add new employees compared to the reference base of employees as in September 2020.

The condition would be adding a minimum of two new employees for establishments with up to 50 employees. Establishments with more than 50 employees would have to give a minimum of five new jobs. The scheme would be operational till June 30, 2021.

Tax sop for home buyers & sellers

Finance Minister also announced relaxations in income tax rules to allow the sale of primary residential units of up to Rs 2 crore value below the circle rate. Till now, only 10 per cent difference between the circle rate and the agreement value was allowed.

Also Read: India’s COVID-19 tally nearing 87 lakh

To boost the residential real estate sector, she said the differential has now been increased to 20 per cent for the period up to June 30, 2021, for only primary sale of residential units of value up to Rs 2 crore.

“This measure will reduce hardships faced by both home-buyers and developers and help in clearing the unsold inventory,” she said.

Nirmala Sitharaman announces funds for COVID-19 vaccine research

A Rs 900 crore grant to the Department of Biotechnology for COVID-19 vaccine research was also announced by the finance minister.

She said the grant does not cover the actual cost of vaccine and distribution expenses, which will be made separately as and when the vaccine is available.

She also said that Rs 10,200 crore additional budget outlay will be provided towards capital and industrial expenditure for domestic defence equipment, industrial incentives and infrastructure and green energy.

Meanwhile, the health ministry on Thursday informed that 47,905 fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported in India in the past 24 hours. The addition of the fresh cases has taken the COVID-19 case tally to 86.83 lakh.

Also, 550 COVID-19 related deaths were reported by the ministry during this period. The addition of the fresh fatalities has taken India’s death toll due to the deadly virus to 1,28,121.

Of the 86.83 lakh coronavirus cases reported so far, over 4.89 lakh are active cases of the virus. It is above 5 per cent of the total caseload. Interestingly, 80.66 lakh cases have recovered from the viral infection so far.

 

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