Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday that improvements in the country’s health infrastructure would boost trust in the economy’s recovery, and she urged the completion of the Rs 50,000-crore Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid-Affected Sectors as soon as possible.
During a webinar titled ‘Building Healthcare Facilities for New India,’ the finance minister added that completing the Loan Guarantee Scheme, which is targeted at strengthening healthcare infrastructure in non-metros, on time will aid in dealing with a prospective third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This (scheme) must be completed promptly. We need to do this across the country, especially in areas where medical infrastructure is lacking; thus, I believe the Department of Financial Services collaborates with industry players and banks. I believe that there should be a lot more information sharing in local communities, “According to Sitharaman.
The programme, which the Union Cabinet approved in June, will apply to all qualified loans issued till March 31, 2022, or until a total of Rs 50,000 crore is approved, whichever comes first. It will provide a guarantee to scheduled commercial banks for loans for healthcare infrastructure projects. Loans are accessible at a lower interest rate of 7.95 percent under the scheme.
According to the finance minister, the second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic highlighted the need to focus on and build medical and healthcare infrastructure so that India may emerge stronger from any such healthcare catastrophe.