PM Modi announces Rs 20 lakh crore economic package; lockdown 4.0 guidelines to be out soon

Edited By: Sonal Gera WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 12, 2020, 08.40 PM(IST)

Narendra Modi Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

India imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to combat the spread of the deadly virus. The government is now starting to pull back from one of the world's tightest lockdowns of 1.3 billion people that has left millions out of work and stranded in cities far from home while infections keep rising.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a Rs 20 lakh economic package for a 'self-reliant' India -- in order to revive an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. This is expected to benefit farmers and middle-class families, he said. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will give more details in the coming days.

PM Modi, in a televised address to the nation, said the economic package for the "Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan" was close to 10 per cent of India's GDP. The special economic package is aimed at benefitting our labourers, farmers, honest tax payers, MSMEs and cottage industry.

The prime minister added the new rules for the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown will be announced before May 18. 

PM Modi addressed the nation even as the total number of coronavirus cases in India topped 70,000, while the death toll neared 2,900. He said, "The unprecedented crisis has disrupted the global economy. We had never seen or heard about such a crisis ever before. This is definitely unimaginable for mankind. This was unprecedented. But humanity will not accept defeat from this virus. We have to not only protect ourselves but also move forward. Today when the entire world is in crisis, we will have to further firm our resolve.

"We have been able to convert pandemic into an opportunity. The meaning of self-reliant is changed across the world. Focus now is on economy centric globalisation versus human centric globalisation.

"India has some of the best talents in the world. We will improve our quality and make best products; we will improve our supply chains. We can do this and we will do this.

Also read | Rs 20 lakh crore package, coronavirus lockdown 4.0 and more: Highlights of PM Modi's address to nation

"It just isn’t our dream but our responsibility too to ensure that the 21st century belongs to India," he said, adding a self-reliant India was the only way ahead."

The prime minister also appreciated the way the industries stepped up in the times of coronavirus crisis.

"Not even a single PPE kit was manufactured in India when the coronavirus crisis started -- only a few N95 masks were available. Today 2 lakh PPE kits and 2 lakh N95 masks are being manufactured in India daily," he said.

Adding to his self-reliant narrative, PM Modi said, "When India speaks of self-reliance, it does not advocate for a self-centered system. In India's self-reliance, there is a concern for the whole world's happiness, cooperation and peace."

To this end, PM Modi announced a Rs 20 lakh-crore stimulus package, which is worth almost 10 per cent of India's GDP.

"I announce a special economic package today. This will play an important role in the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan'. The package totals to Rs 20 lakh crore. This is 10 per cent of India's GDP."

He added, "The five pillars for self-reliant India are economy, infrastructure, technology-driven system, vibrant demography, and the fifth pillar is demand. And we shall work to strengthen them."

Also read | India's manufacturing output contracts 20.6% in March

PM Modi further said that time has taught us that we must make 'local' the mantra of our lives.

"People should buy local and help the indigenous industries," he said, adding, "time has taught us that we must make 'local' the mantra of our lives. Global brands that are there today were once local too but when people there started supporting them they became global. That is why from today, every Indian must become vocal for our local."

About the fourth phase of lockdown, PM Modi said, "The fourth phase of lockdown, Lockdown 4.0, will be in a new form with new rules. Based on the suggestions by states, information related to it will be given to you before May 18.

"The scientists say coronavirus will be a part of our lives for a very long time. But we can't let our lives remain confined around it. We will wear masks and maintain social distancing but we will not let it affect us," he added.

Also read | US' CDC commits USD 3.6 million to India's COVID-19 fight

India imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to combat the spread of the deadly virus. The government is now starting to pull back from one of the world's tightest lockdowns of 1.3 billion people that has left millions out of work and stranded in cities far from home while infections keep rising.

India's coronavirus infections have risen to 70,756, including 2,293 deaths.

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