In his highly anticipated address to the nation today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a aid package of Rs. 20 lakh-crore to help revive an economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Details of the package will be shared by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tomorrow.
At Rs.20 lakh crore, the amount of the aid package is equivalent to about 10% of GDP. Modi said the singular idea behind the rescue plan, as well as the broader economic philosophy for the future, is “self-sufficiency.” Speaking of an “Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” or a national movement to promote self-sufficiency, the Prime Minister said that the government’s efforts for economic recovery will focus on four central areas; land, work, liquidity and laws.
Relying more on the issue of self-sufficiency, he called on people to make their voices heard locally – that is, to buy locally produced products to promote India’s industry and entrepreneurship. The Prime Minister added that Lockdown 4.0 will have new rules and that details will be released before May 18. The current 3.0 lock ends on May 17.
The number of coronaviruses affected people in India is 72,432 and the death toll is 2,329. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, speaking today before the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, said the rate of Coronavirus recovery in India is improving every day and that a total of 22,455 patients have so far recovered from the infection.
Meanwhile, Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express have operated 31 inbound flights during the first five days of the Vande Bharat mission, bringing home 6,037 Indians who were stranded abroad amid the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.
A powerful committee appointed by the government of Maharashtra has decided to temporarily release around 50% of prisoners to decongest state prisons after the Covid-19 pandemic. The move comes after more than 100 inmates and staff from Arthur Road Prison in central Mumbai tested positive for Covid-19. A 54-year-old inmate at Byculla Women’s Prison also tested positive for coronavirus last week. The panel also said that prisoners convicted or reserved on serious charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and strict provisions such as MCOCA, UAPA and PMLA will not be released on bail or on temporary probation. The panel was created after the Supreme Court in March ordered the decongestion of prisons across the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) today said that 27 million Indians, in the age group 20-30 years, lost their jobs in April 2020 following the nationwide lockdown.