Govt likely to announce Rs.1.5-lakh-crore plan to tackle COVID-19 slump

The package will be focused on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and daily wage workers besides injecting liquidity in the market

The government has been in consultation with the Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

The government is likely to unveil an economic stimulus package of Rs.1.5 lakh crore ($19.6 billion) as the country battles to curb the spread of coronavirus, a source from Finance Ministry said on Wednesday (March 25).

NDTV reported that the package would focus on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and daily wage workers besides injecting liquidity in the market.

The government has been in consultation with the Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in this regard.

The official said a task force had been formed to give suggestions to the Finance Ministry and top officials were intensively working on the plan.

Earlier, a report by news agency Reuters quoted an unnamed source in the Ministry of Finance pegging the bailout package at 20 billion dollars. However, there was no confirmation of this figure.

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A day earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the economic package was in the works. Sooner or later, the government will announce the package to help the markets and industry, she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a 21-day countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, crippling MSMEs as economic activity comes to a virtual halt.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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