PM Modi announces Rs 20 lakh crore relief, India's coronavirus tally crosses 70,000

PM Modi announces Rs 20 lakh crore relief, India's coronavirus tally crosses 70,000

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a consolidated economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore to help make India self-reliant in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and pitched for promoting local businesses. The PM flagged that the deadly virus may be part of our lives for a long time, as the nationwide tally crossed 70,000.

The death toll also neared 2,300, while over 22,000 people have recovered from the disease so far.

In his address to the nation on Covid-19 crisis, PM Modi also said the fourth phase of the lockdown, beginning May 18, would be totally different with new rules and guidelines that would be announced later after taking into account feedback from all chief ministers.

Meanwhile, West Bengal has already extended the lockdown while giving some relaxations in red, orange and green zones within the state.

On the 49th day of the nationwide lockdown, passenger trains finally left their stations to ferry people across the country. Eight trains, apart from Shramik Specials, reunited thousands of people with their loved ones after a long gap. While, flights and naval ships operating under Vande Bharat Mission brought back over 500 people from the US, the Philippines and Maldives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attempted to shift the country's focus from the misery caused by Covid-19 lockdown to the potential for economic gain in this crisis.

While announcing the unprecedented economic stimulus package, PM Modi said that India should not be seeking to just survive the Covid crisis but thrive and come out as a global leader. And to be a global leader, the PM said, India will have to become self-reliant.

He said the special economic package of Rs 20 lakh crore is equivalent to almost 10 per cent of India's GDP and it will provide a much-needed boost for making India self-reliant. The package will also focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws, he said.
While details of the economic package would be announced by the Finance Ministry over the next few days, beginning Wednesday, Modi said it would cover all sections of the society including corporates, cottage and small scale industries, MSMEs, labourers and the middle class.

The consolidated package of Rs 20 lakh crore would include measures already announced by the government and the RBI so far to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. However, there was no clarity on from where these funds would come and what impact it might have on the fiscal health of the country.

Among various measures, the Finance Ministry had earlier announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package, mainly for providing food grains and cash support to the poor.