Bengaluru: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a slew of proposals aimed at stimulating demand in the Indian economy, which include special Festival Advance Scheme for central government employees.

Briefing media persons in New Delhi, Nirmala announced: "Special Festival Advance Scheme for non-gazetted employees is being revived as a one-time measure, for gazetted employees too. All central govt. Employees can now get an interest-free advance of Rs 10,000, in the form of a prepaid RuPay Card, to be spent by March 31, 2021."

Here are highlights of other measures announced by the finance minister:

* The one-time disbursement of Special Festival Advance Scheme is expected to amount to Rs 4,000 crores. If given by all state governments, another Rs 8,000 crores is expected to be disbursed. Employees can spend this on any festival.

* The interest-free advance of Rs 10,000 under the Special Festival Advance Scheme is to be paid back in 10 instalments.

* If Central govt employees opt for it, this will cost around Rs 5,675 crore. The employees of Public Sector Banks and Public Sector Undertakings are allowed to avail this facility. For PSBs & PSUs, the cost will be Rs 1,900 crores. The demand infusion in the economy by central govt & PSUs will be approximately Rs 19,000 crore. Even if 50% of the States opt to give this facility, this will roughly bring in Rs 9000 crores.

* Centre offers interest-free 50-year loans to states for capital expenditure for Rs 12,000 crores, consisting of three components. 

* LTC Cash Voucher Scheme: Government employees can opt to receive cash amounting to leave encashment plus 3 times ticket fare, to buy items which attract GST of 12% or more. Only digital transactions allowed, GST invoice to be produced.