PM Announces 20 Lakh Crores Package, Details of Lockdown 4 before May 18

“Details of lockdown 4 will be shared after suggestion from states, before May 18,” PM Modi said, addressing the nation for the third time since he announced a total lockdown in late March.

New Delhi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a Rs 20 lakh crore economic package for what he called “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” or mission Self-Reliant India to tide over the coronavirus crisis. Stating that India could not be controlled by the virus, he also announced “lockdown 4” after May 17, which would be “completely different”, with new rules.

“Details of lockdown 4 will be shared after suggestion from states, before May 18,” PM Modi said, addressing the nation for the third time since he announced a total lockdown in late March.

“Corona will be with us for a long time but our lives cannot revolve around it. We will wear masks, we will follow doh gaj doori (six-feet distance), but we won’t let our focus stray,” he stressed, indicating major relaxations after May 17.

The special economic package would be the main component of “Atma-Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)”, he said, talking about turning a crisis into an opportunity.

Recent decisions by the Reserve Bank of India, combined with today’s financial package would take to figure to about Rs 20 lakh crore, he said, nearly 10 percent of India’s GDP.

“This package is for migrants and farmers who work for the nation day and night, no matter the circumstances,” the Prime Minister said.

“The package will focus on land, labour, liquidity and law; it will help small business, labourers, farmers,” the PM said. “It will focus on the well-being of migrant workers too.”

The package would cater to various sections including the cottage industry, MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), the middle class, industries, among others.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman would detail the contours of the package from tomorrow, in the coming days, said the PM.

Speaking about the coronavirus pandemic, PM Modi said: “A virus has ravaged the world, we have never seen or heard a crisis like this.”

The only way for India to triumph over the crisis was to “strengthen our resolve so that our resolve is even greater than this crisis.”

He said India must realize its potential as the lead player in the 21st century by focusing on its self-reliance.

He listed what he called five pillars for self-reliance: “Economy with potential for quantum jump, infrastructure, technology-driven system, demography and an intelligence-driven supply system.”

The PM had yesterday held a six-hour meeting with Chief Ministers on the road ahead after May 17, when the third phase of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown is due to end.

PM Modi had hinted in the meeting that the lockdown – extended twice – would continue, but with far less restrictions.

Coronavirus cases in India crossed 70,000 today.

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