Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds meeting with the chief ministers via video conferencing on Covid-19 situation, in New Delhi on Monday.(ANI Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds meeting with the chief ministers via video conferencing on Covid-19 situation, in New Delhi on Monday.(ANI Photo)

Behind Rs 20 lakh crore package, PM Modi’s hard push for self reliance

This is PM Modi’s third address to the nation on the Covid-19 lockdown. He had held a meeting with chief ministers of various states on the coronavirus pandemic on Monday.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 12, 2020 09:01 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday. The Prime Minister’s address to the nation began at 8 pm where he announced a financial package for various sectors dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“This package is worth Rs 20 lakh crore, or 10 per cent of India’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It will empower various different sectors of the society. Rs 20 lakh crore package in 2020 will speed up India’s journey to become self-reliant,” PM Modi said in his address to the nation.

He sai that the Finance Ministry will give details about the package in coming days.

“This package focuses on land, labour, liquidity and law. It will help small industries and MSMEs,” said PM Modi.

He also said that the coronavirus pandemic has taught India a lesson - to become self-reliant - as this is the only way forward. “India’s way of becoming self-reliant is beneficial for the world. For example, if our country becomes Open Defecation Free (ODF), it also impacts the world,” PM Modi said,

He also hailed the patience shown by India’s workforce during the Covid-19 lockdown. The Prime Minister also said that local manufacturing has helped India during this crisis. “The crisis has taught us that local is going to help us. So, we should become vocal for local - not only buy local, but advertise it too.”

This was PM Modi’s fourth address to the nation since mid-March. He had first announced the lockdown in his televised address to the nation on March 24, then announced its extension on April 14. Apart from this, the Prime Minister had also addressed the nation as he asked the country to observe one-day Janta Curfew in March to break the cycle of infection.

PM Modi held a meeting with the chief ministers on Monday where he said that states will have greater say in determining the extent of restrictions and relaxations after May 17.

He also emphasised that social distancing remains the “biggest weapon” against the virus till a vaccine is found, and suggested that the lockdown may not be lifted entirely.

In his fifth interaction with chief ministers on the pandemic, according to participants at the meeting, PM Modi said that India now had a good sense of the spread of the disease. He also urged states to carefully examine specific geographical areas to come up with a roadmap for the next phase of lockdown and highlighted the importance of green zones in restarting economic activity.

The Prime Minister also underlined that the full resumption of rail travel would not be possible and pointed out that India will have to use technology in imparting education.

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