Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a comprehensive economic package to cope with the impact of coronavirus Covid-19.
“The government is working to find disadvantaged women, workers and migrants. We have come up with a package that will address the concerns of these people. We are looking at two aspects: cash transfer and food security measures, ”Sitharaman said at a news conference.
“We do not want anyone to go hungry or penniless. So we will give enough,” she added and announced a Rs 1,70,000 crore aid package for poor urban and rural areas.
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The Minister of Finance also expressed his gratitude to all “combat warriors” who deal with patients affected by coronavirus disease.
“These could be ASHA workers, doctors, doctors. They call them ‘God in white costumes.’ We provide them with insurance coverage of 50 garments per person,” Sitharaman said.
Earlier this week, the finance minister said the package was ongoing and would be announced.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week formed a task force led by the finance minister to develop a package for a coronavirus-affected economy and release under 21 days.
The closure means India will not meet the five percent growth target this year; it also means that India will miss its 10% nominal growth target next year (2020-21).
Investment and spending will fall. The job will be lost. More and more people will be pushed back into poverty. The crisis in the banking sector, both the cause and effect of the pre-coronavirus slowdown in India, will only get worse.
The informal sector – worst hit by demonetisation in 2016 and further weakened in 2017 by applying a single tax on goods and services – will be worst affected, but a three-year halt in economic activity will hit almost every business.
The total number of Covid-19 cases in India has increased to 649, including 593 active cases and 42 people who have been cured or discharged from hospitals, the Health Ministry said.
. (ToTranslate tags) Coronavirus