PM Narendra Modi announced a Rs 20-lakh-crore stimulus package, equivalent to about 10% of India’s GDP, aimed at making the country self-reliant and reviving the stalled economy. Details of the plan, dubbed the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, will be unveiled by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman starting Wednesday, the Prime Minister said in his address to the nation on Tuesday evening.
The programme encompasses earlier packages announced by the government and the Reserve Bank of India, Modi said, adding that bold reforms are needed to make the country self-reliant so that crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic can be overcome in future.
“These reforms include supply chain reforms for agriculture, rational tax system, simple and clear laws, capable human resources and a strong financial system,” he said. “These reforms will promote business, attract investments, and further strengthen ‘Make in India’.”
The package will focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws, and will cater to various sectors including the cottage industries, micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs), the working class, middle class and industry, among others. He said the package will also focus on empowering the poor, labourers and migrant workers, both in the organised and unorganised sectors. It will seek to increase efficiency and ensure quality.
The government had announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore stimulus plan on March 26. The Reserve Bank of India has also launched various programmes to help borrowers and boost liquidity, besides cutting interest rates to a record low.
Five Pillars for Self-Reliance
Last week, the government raised its gross market borrowing target for the current financial year to Rs 12 lakh crore from Rs 7.8 lakh crore estimated in the budget.
Self-reliance will prepare India for tough competition in the global supply chain, and it is important that the country should emerge victorious, he said. He said a selfreliant India will stand on five pillars — the economy, infrastructure, system, demography and demand.
India’s nationwide lockdown began on March 25 and is scheduled to stay in place until May 17, although there have been some relaxations since May 4. Modi said the government will provide details about the next phase, or Lockdown 4.0, before May 18. The contours of this will be different from those seen so far and new rules will be framed on the basis of recommendations by the states. Modi had held a video-conference with chief ministers on Monday.
“Several experts and scientists have said that the virus is going to be a part of our lives for a long time,” he said. “But it is also important to ensure that our life does not revolve only around it. People should work toward their targets while taking precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distance.”
Modi also focussed on the importance of local manufacturing, local markets and local supply chains, saying the coronavirus crisis had taught India the importance of these key elements. “All our demands during the crisis were met locally. Now, it is time to be ‘vocal about local’ products and help them become global,” he said.
He said the definition of self-reliance had undergone a change in the globalised world and stressed that it’s not the same as being self-centred.
“India’s culture considers the world as one family, and progress in India is part of, and also contributes to, progress in the whole world,” he said. “The world trusts that India has a lot to contribute towards the development of entire humanity.”
He also elaborated on the five pillars of self-reliance.
As far as the economy is concerned, the government was looking for a “quantum jump” and not “incremental change”, he said. Infrastructure “should become the identity of India”. The system should be based on 21st century technology-driven arrangements. A vibrant demography is the source of energy for a self-reliant India. The supply chain should be utilised to full capacity to meet strong demand. “We need to strengthen all stakeholders in the supply chain to increase, as well as fulfil, the demand,” he said.
Every crisis is an opportunity, Modi said, pointing to the example of personal protective equipment (PPE). Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, India didn’t make PPE or N95 masks. Now the country makes 200,000 PPE kits and 200,000 N95 masks every day, he said.
Major takeaways of Prime Minister's Address
Lockdown 4 will be announced before May 18 and will have new rules.
This package focuses on land, labour, liquidity and law. It will help small industries and MSMEs.
PM delved on the amount of loss caused by the 120 nm novel coronavirus
The irreparable loss which occurred due to the pandemic is beyond any explanation
India has converted the challenge of coronavirus into an opportunity
India needs to fulfil its role as one of the leaders in the 21st century
The Pandemic has taught us the true value of self-reliance
India has always been a leader and our efforts at International forums are a testimony.
5 pillars of India's self-reliance- Economy ,Infrastructure, System, Demography, Demand.
India's Covid-19 count has reached 70,756, while the number of deaths due to the infection stood at 2,293. Maharashtra, with 23,401 confirmed cases is the worst-affected so far and is followed by Gujarat with 8,541 cases.
May 14, 2020