India announced $266 billion stimulus
NEW DELHI. KAZINFORM In an effort to counter the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a massive stimulus package of rupees 20 trillion (about US$ 266 billion) in a televised address to his nation tonight.
The stimulus outlay amounts to 10 per cent India’s Gross Domestic Product. Modi said the aim of the package was to make India self-reliant, insisting at the same time that his government was not resorting to protectionism or was becoming inward-looking. «The aim of the package is to build a self-reliant India,» WAM reports.
Economists and India’s industry leaders immediately welcomed the stimulus. They have been arguing for several weeks for an enhanced spending package to help the economy tide over the fallout of Coronavirus.
Modi said «we cannot let our lives revolve around» Coronavirus even if it is going to be with us for a long time. India has been in a state of lockdown for a month and a half. The current and third phase of the lockdown is to end on May 17.
However, the Prime Minister made it clear that the lockdown will continue into its next phase which «will be completely new in form and rules. Information regarding lockdown 4.0 will be given before May 18 after taking into consideration recommendations» by Chief Ministers of Indian states.
Modi had a marathon six-hour meeting with state Chief Ministers yesterday to invite their suggestions on continuing the strategy for fighting the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare here said today that the total number of COVID-19 infections in India was now at 70,756. Of these 22,455 patients have been cured and 2,293 people have died from the disease.