Addressing the nation for the fifth time during the coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a mega Rs 20 lakh crore package to provide relief to the people and help the country fight the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. While Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is to provide the fine-print of the package starting this Wednesday, Narendra Modi spelled out the package’s vision of making India a self-reliant economy, which is able to fulfill its needs without dependence on external support. Narendra Modi also shed some light as to the intended recipients of the massive economic package announced today.
“With the package, various sections of the society and economic links will get support,” he said. Land, labour, liquidity and laws are in focus in the package and it will support India’s cottage industries, home industries, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), PM Narendra Modi said. “This package is for the country’s labour, farmers who have worked in every condition and every weather and round the clock for the fellow countrymen, for India’s middle class who pays tax honestly and for industries,” he added.
The package will play an important role in the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, PM Modi said, adding that the announcements made by the government so far, the decisions of the RBI and today’s package totals to Rs 20 Lakh Crores which is equivalent to nearly 10% of India’s GDP.
The Prime Minister also emphasised on achieving self-reliance at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the economy to a grinding halt. “This era of self-reliance will be our new pledge, we have to move on with new resolve.” The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 2,293 lives so far and infected over 70,000 people in the country. He also said that local stores have done tremendous work in fulfilling the demands of people during lockdown and hence the country must now focus on strengthening them.
Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also rolled out a financial relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore which was intended for the most vulnerable sections of the society including farmers, labourers, daily wage earners, women and disabled people. Along with monetary relief, the government also provided food grain under the previous package.
Meanwhile, the government has indicated that the lockdown phase 4 will continue, however, PM Modi has indicated that the next lockdown will have major easing on restrictions.