Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is expected to announce an economic stimulus package worth Rs 3 lakh crore this week.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Tuesday that the government will spend more than $260-billion, the equivalent of almost 10 per cent of the country's GDP, on a coronavirus economic relief package created to make the world's second most populous nation more self-reliant. "This will help our laborers, farmers, honest taxpayers, MSMEs, and the cottage industry", he went on.
According to an official statement, Modi also said resumption of train services was needed to rev up the economic activity.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also hoped that a focused package to support the Indian Automotive Industry would be announced by the Finance Minister, when she announces the details of the package. "We appreciate the Prime Minister spoke about land, labour, liquidity and simplification of laws which are key challenges of the economy", says Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
Social distancing, he said, was the key. It can become self-reliant.
FICCI President Sangita Reddy said the strengthening of the five pillars ~CHECK~ economy, infrastructure, system, demography and demand will pave the way for India returning to a higher sustained growth path again. "We have to use them to their optimum", the Prime Minister said.
The crisis has taught India the importance of local manufacturing, local markets and local supply chains, Modi said.
- Time has taught us that we must make "local" the mantra of our lives. Local is not just a need but our responsibility. So every Indian should be vocal about local. It's none other than our beloved PM Narendra Modi.
"It has been over four months since the world started battling COVID-19".
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Harsh Goenka of RPG Enterprises called it a powerful booster to the economy and a timely lifeline which will benefit all sections of the people and lift a lot of struggling sections out of trouble. "I want states to make a blueprint on how to deal with various nuances during and after gradual easing of the lockdown", he said.
He told the people in the country that this was a time to not give up. Across the world, crores of lives have been facing difficulties. We are able to do so because India has turned a crisis into an opportunity. Indeed, it is unimaginable for humanity.
"We must all plan for the new reality", he said. Today when the world is in trouble, we have to strengthen our resolve.
In late March, India unveiled a 1.7 trillion rupee program for the poor that included direct cash transfers and free grain, while the RBI cut the benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points to 4.40%, the lowest in a decade. He also suggested, "it is important that we involve Panchayats for a system based response". India was making no personal protective equipment when the pandemic began, he said, while the production of N95 masks was nearly negligible. N-95 masks were being manufactured in negligible quantity.
The Prime Minister on Monday held a video conference meeting with Chief Ministers of all states to discuss the road ahead in India's fight against COVID-19 and noted that he was of the firm view that measures needed during the third phase of lockdown will not be needed in the fourth phase.
This is going to be Modi's first address since the announcement of Lockdown 2.0 in April.
Modi also announced that the nationwide lockdown will be extended beyond May 18.
The lockdown, enforced on March 25, was originally supposed to end on April 14. It has been extended for another two weeks till May 17.