PM pushes for self-reliance

As the nationwide Covid-19 tally crossed 74,000, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a consolidated economic package of Rs.20 lakh crore in a hard push to make India self-reliant in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and pitched for promoting local businesses.

Asserting that self-reliance in post-Covid times is the only way forward, Modi, in his third address to the nation since the first lockdown, said the economic package, approximately 10 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, will be unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman from Wednesday. Modi also said that a fourth phase of nationwide lockdown will continue after May 17 but in an entirely new form with far more relaxations.

Modi said that the package will give a new momentum to the country’s efforts to become self-reliant and promised ‘bold reforms’ through the assistance. “The emphasis is on land, labour, liquidity and laws in the package. Cottage industries, MSME, small scale industries that are the foundation of the economy have been accounted for. This package is for migrant labour and farmers who work tirelessly for this nation in every situation, every season, the middle class that pays tax honestly… this package is for India’s businesses,” Modi said in his 34-minute long address to the nation.

Calling the Covid-19 pandemic ‘unprecedented’ Modi said that according to scientists and experts ‘corona virus will be a part of our lives for a long time to come but our lives should not be restricted to this.’ The Centre is slated to receive detailed suggestions from state governments by May 15 on how to open up the economy and a plan on staggered exit from the lockdown.

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