Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced that the central government, in a bid to boost India’s pandemic-battered economy, will give Rs 12,000 crore interest-free 50-year loan to states for spending on capital projects.

In a press conference, Sitharaman said that out of Rs 12,000 crore, Rs 1,600 crore will be given to north-eastern states while Rs 900 crore will be given to Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The remaining Rs 7,500 crore will be given to the other states. She added that Rs 2,000 crore will be given to states that fulfill pre-stated reforms.

The Finance Minister also announced that the Centre will provide Rs 25,000 crore in addition to Rs 4.13 lakh crore budgeted for roads, defence infrastructure, water supply and urban development. 

Sitharaman also announced two schemes to stimulate consumer demands in order to boost the economy.

Speaking on the issues faced by the poor and the weaker sections, Sitharaman said their needs were addressed in various announcements by the government.

She added the measures announced on Monday will boost demand by Rs 73,000 crore that is to be spent by March 31, 2021.