Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a mega economic stimulus package which, when calculated along with the measures announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Finance Ministry’s March relief package, amounts to Rs 20 lakh crore or 10 per cent of the country’s GDP.
Addressing the nation, he also said that the fourth phase of the lockdown, which will start from May 18, will be totally different from the earlier ones. The details will be announced before May 18, the Prime Minister said. India has been in lockdown since March 25 and has already been extended twice.
He also underlined the need to be self-reliant and go local.
While Modi announced the package, he did not give any details. The details, he said, will be given by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the next few days. “It will empower different sectors of the economy. The Rs 20-lakh crore package in 2020 will help India’s journey in becoming self-reliant,” Modi said in his televised address.
He urged all Indians to “be vocal about local.”
The Finance Ministry earlier announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package under the under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the country’s poor and vulnerable. The RBI also came out with several measures including reduction in policy rates.
This will play an important role in the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,’ the Prime Minister said, adding that India has managed to turn the current crisis into an opportunity. He said that the package will especially help the micro small and medium enterprises or MSMEs, daily wage earners, and the laborers.
“The stimulus package should address both supply- and demand-side challenges emanating from the coronavirus,” Sharad Kumar Saraf, president, Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), said in a statement.
“Scientists have said that this coronavirus will be a part of our lives for a long time. But we can’t let our lives remain confined around it. So we will wear masks and maintain social distancing but we will not let it (the virus) affect us.” Modi said..