New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said the existing emergency credit line guarantee scheme (ECLGS) has been extended till March 31, 2021. Also Read - Ahead of Sitharaman's PC, Sensex Declines Over 200 pts in Early Trade; Nifty Slips Below 12,700

Addressing a press conference to announce more stimulus measures to boost growth, Sitharaman said guaranteed credit support for 26 stressed sectors has been identified by the Kamath Committee. Also Read - Sitharaman PC Updates: Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Package of Rs 2.65 L Cr Announced; From New Job Scheme to Tax Relief in Housing, Details Here

Original ECLGS had one year of moratorium and four years of repayment, the new scheme will have one-year moratorium and five years of repayment, the finance minister announced. Also Read - Economy Steadily Reviving, But GDP Growth Will be Negative This Fiscal, Says Sitharaman Amid Pandemic

“We are launching credit guarantee support scheme for healthcare sector and 26 sectors stressed due to Covid-19. Entities will get additional credit up to 20 per cent of outstanding credit, repayment can be done in five years’ time (1 year moratorium + 4 years repayment),” FM Sitharaman said.

Speaking at the press briefing, Sitharaman said the Indian economy is witnessing a strong recovery after a long and strict lockdown. She said macro-economic indicators are pointing towards recovery.

COVID-19 active cases have declined from over 10 lakh to 4.89 lakh with case fatality rate (CFR) at 1.47 per cent, she said.

Giving out details of recovery, she said composite purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 58.9 per cent in October versus 54.6 per cent in the previous month, registering strongest increase in output in close to nine years.

Energy consumption growth trended higher in October at 12 per cent year-on-year, while Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections have grown 10 per cent to over Rs 1.05 lakh crore.

Daily railway freight tonnage grew by an average 20 per cent year-on-year versus 12 per cent, she said adding bank credit has improved 5.1 per cent.

Also, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in April-August at USD 35.37 billion has seen a 13 per cent rise on a year-on-year basis.

RBI has predicted a strong likelihood of Indian economy returning to positive growth in Q3 2020-21, ahead by a quarter from the earlier forecast, she said adding prominent economists have suggested that the rebound is not only due to pent up demand but also due to strong economic growth.

(With PTI inputs)