Monday, 30th October 2017

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Second stimulus in the works

Now, the government is working on a stimulus to be given to hard-hit sectors of the economy after the lockdown is lifted

By PTI in New Delhi
  • Published 7.04.20, 2:01 AM
  • Updated 7.04.20, 2:01 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Last month, the government announced a Rs 1.70-lakh-crore relief package in the form of foodgrains and cash transfers for the poor and vulnerable sections of society to help them deal with the hardships caused by the lockdown. (Shutterstock)

The finance ministry is working on a second relief package for the Indian economy hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the contagion, sources said.

Last month, the government announced a Rs 1.70-lakh-crore relief package in the form of foodgrains and cash transfers for the poor and vulnerable sections of society to help them deal with the hardships caused by the lockdown.

Now, the government is working on a stimulus to be given to hard-hit sectors of the economy after the lockdown is lifted, sources said, adding, an announcement is expected in the next few days depending on the severity of the pandemic. Besides, further relief measures are being planned to mitigate the hardships faced by citizens, especially the poor, sources added.

The finance ministry along with the empowered group constituted by the Prime Minister's office (PMO) is working on this, sources said.

Last week, the PMO constituted a seven-member empowered group headed by economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty, who is monitoring the situation on a daily basis.

The empowered group is not only looking at the pain points of the economy but also the distress and misery being faced by a large section of the society who have been rendered jobless because of the outbreak.

Besides Chakraborty, the other members of the panel are expenditure secretary T. V. Somnathan, labour secretary Hiralal Samariya, rural development secretary Rajesh Bhushan, department of financial services additional secretary Pankaj Jain, joint secretary in PMO Arvind Shrivastava and deputy secretary in the cabinet secretariat Amrapali Kata. The panel is also looking at the rural distress.

Since top officials of three departments of the finance ministry are part of the group, it can be construed as the finance ministry itself.

According to sources, the group is looking at the stress in various sectors, including the MSME, hospitality, civil aviation, agriculture and allied sectors, and based on the inputs will start working on the stimulus package.