The Central Government is likely to come up with a multi lakh crore economic package for the industries worst hit due to total shutdown imposed to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. This will be the second economic package by the Modi government, after it announced Rs 1.75 lakh crore scheme to help the economically weaker sections survive the loss of jobs and income that would be the inevitable fallout of the Coronavirus outbreak.
According to sources, the decision will be taken post a high-level cabinet meeting. Sources said that the government is looking at the industries which create job opportunities for the common man. The package may support the labour-intensive sectors like construction. The Centre wants to finalise the package and make a decision in the upcoming two to three days before taking a call on the lockdown which will be ending on April 14.
Sources said that a meeting is scheduled between the Commerce and the Finance Secretary and other officials with the industry players who are ready to cooperate with the government.
While announcing the first package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the relief package includes direct benefit cash transfers, free LPG, grains and pulses for the poor while the middle class would be able to withdraw funds from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) account.
“A package is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. No one will go hungry. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore,” Nirmala Sitharaman, who is heading the COVID-19 task force, said at a press conference.
In a move aimed at benefiting 3.5 crores registered construction workers, Sitharaman said the Centre had directed the state governments to use a Rs 31,000 crore fund corpus to support them.
Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of Reserve Bank of India, addressed a press conference on March 27, a day after the central government announced a coronavirus relief package. Das said the RBI had decided to cut repo rate by 75 basis points to 4.4 %, while the reverse repo rate has been reduced by 90 basis points. He said his address was coming amidst "extraordinary circumstances".