New Delhi: The prime minister, Narendra Modi, announced a stimulus package of ₹20 lakh crore, or “10 per cent of the GDP”, to boost the economy, which has come to a grinding halt because of the nationwide lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, Covid-19.
He also said that lockdown will be extended after it expires on May 17. However, he said that the next lockdown period will be “completely different” from the previous three.
In an address to the nation on television, on Tuesday night, Modi said “we have to protect ourselves and move ahead as well.” The prime minister said, “I announce a special economic package today. This will play an important role in the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (self-reliant India mission). The announcements made by the government on Covid-19, decisions of RBI and today’s package totals to ₹20 Lakh crore. This is 10 per cent of India’s GDP.”
He then said the finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, will start announcing the details of the economic package from Wednesday.
On the coronavirus pandemic, that has hit the economy hard and thrown the life out of gear, Modi said India will not be controlled by the virus. Announcing the extension of the lockdown, which began on March 25, and extended on April 14 and then again on May 1, Modi said the fourth phase of the lockdown will be “in a completely different form” from the first three. It would have new rules and guidelines.
Modi said the new rules and guidelines will be formulated after taking inputs from the states. He said, “Based on the suggestions by states, information related to Lockdown 4 will be given to you before May 18. We will fight corona and we will move forward.”
This was Modi’s fifth address to the nation on the Coronavirus pandemic.
PM Narendra Modi’s full speech on Lockdown 4.0 and booster package:
Covid-19 cases continue to rise
On Tuesday, India saw 3,213 fresh coronavirus cases, which took the total number of cases in the country to nearly 74,000. The day also saw 114 new Covid-19 deaths, which took the death toll over 2,400.
Maharashtra reported 1,026 new cases. The total number of cases in the state is now 24,427. Gujarat reported 362 new Covid-19 cases and 24 deaths, taking the total infection count to 8,904 and the deaths to 537.
The global number of coronavirus infections crossed 4.3 million and the death toll has crossed 290,000.
Latest coronavirus India stats:
- Confirmed: 73,981
- Deaths: 2,408
- Recovered: 24,124
Latest worldwide coronavirus stats:
- Confirmed: 4,311,913
- Deaths: 290,597
- Recovered: 1,567,141
Top 5 countries with coronavirus infections:
- United States: 1,395,026
- Spain: 269,520
- Russia: 232,243
- United Kingdom: 226,463
- Italy: 221,216
Top 5 countries with coronavirus deaths are:
- United States: 82,555
- United Kingdom: 32,692
- Italy: 30,911
- Spain: 26,920
- France: 26,643