Modi Un­veils US$267bn Pack­age to En­sure Self-Re­liance Amid COVID-19 Lock­down

Fiji Sun - - ASIA/CHINA/AUST/NZ NEWS - In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi called upon his coun­try­men to try and make the COVID-19 pan­demic cri­sis into an op­por­tu­nity and be­come sel­f­re­liant in terms of man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Na­tional ad­dress

Ad­dress­ing the na­tion on Tues­day night, Mr Modi an­nounced a spe­cial eco­nomic pack­age of US$267 bil­lion (FJ$ 607.49bn)to make the coun­try self-re­liant amid a na­tion­wide COVID-19 lock­down.

This stim­u­lus pack­age would in­clude the pack­ages al­ready an­nounced by the cen­tral bank, the Re­serve

Bank of In­dia (RBI), in the past cou­ple of months to re­vive In­dia’s econ­omy.

This eco­nomic pack­age would be “around 10 per cent of the coun­try’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP).”

Mr Modi also said the coun­try will en­ter into the fourth phase of lock­down to fight the COVID-19 pan­demic with ef­fect from May 18. The on­go­ing third phase of lock­down is slated to end on May 17. The lock­down be­gan on March 25. “The fourth phase of lock­down will have new rules which will be an­nounced soon,” Mr Modi added. The Prime Min­is­ter elab­o­rated that the spe­cial eco­nomic pack­age would fo­cus on five pillars, Econ­omy, In­fra­struc­ture, Tech­nol­ogy Driven Sys­tem, Vi­brant Demography and Op­ti­mum Use of De­mandSup­ply Chain.

Stim­u­lus pack­age wel­comed

Wel­com­ing the lat­est stim­u­lus pack­age, Pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion of In­dian Ex­port Or­gan­i­sa­tions (FIEO) Sharad Ku­mar Saraf said the ini­tia­tives her­alded the ar­rival of New In­dia.

Mr Saraf be­lieved that the in­creas­ing lo­cal­i­sa­tion was a fall­out of COVID-19 across the globe but this will make mar­ket ac­cess for ex­ports more dif­fi­cult. He sug­gested the stim­u­lus pack­age should ad­dress both sup­ply and de­mand side chal­lenges em­a­nat­ing from COVID-19.

“How­ever, if we can in­te­grate into the global value chain, we are up for a quan­tum jump in ex­ports,” he added.

This was Mr Modi’s fifth ad­dress to the na­tion in the past seven weeks.

“This could be made pos­si­ble as In­dia con­verted the cri­sis into an op­por­tu­nity. Let In­dia be more self-re­liant. While be­com­ing sel­f­re­liant In­dia won’t be self-cen­tered, but will con­tinue to work for world peace and growth,” Mr Modi said.

The Prime Min­is­ter urged his coun­try­men to buy lo­cally pro­duced prod­ucts.

“We haven’t seen or heard about this kind of world cri­sis. This is unimag­in­able and un­prece­dented for hu­man­ity. But we can’t be care­less, rather we have to be alert, obey rules and laws in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.

“We have to save our­selves and move ahead with a strong re­solve, stronger than the cri­sis it­self. We must seize the op­por­tu­nity and be self-re­liant by in­creas­ing our pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity.”

Photo: Of­fice of the In­dian PM

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