Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to hold press conference at 12:30 pm today

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will convene a press conference in New Delhi at 12.30 pm on Thursday. The government is likely to declare Rs 3 lakh crore stimulus for the stressed sectors in an earnest attempt to kick the slowed economy in motion, revive demand and create employment opportunities. In addition to that, the package would be inclusive of the production-linked incentives of more than Rs 1.45 lakh crore for manufacturers in sectors which have suffered a huge blow due to the COVID-19 crisis, such as tourism, hospitality and aviation.

The government has already started developing further plans to heave the economy from the fall caused by the pandemic, as the lockdown measures were eased, and they opine that a targeted stimulus will help speed up the process. The Cabinet gave a nod to Production-Linked Incentives (PLIs) summing up to Rs 1.45 lakh crore for 10 sectors on Wednesday, including automobiles, pharmaceuticals, white goods and textiles with a motive of attracting big-ticket investment. Of this, the biggest share was for automakers and auto components at Rs 57,042 crore, followed by battery manufacturing at Rs 18,100 crore.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated the Cabinet’s approval to the PLI scheme, saying it is an important move towards stepping up India’s position in the global market and steers the country further closer to the dream of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India). He tweeted, “Cabinet decision of PLI scheme for 10 sectors will boost manufacturing, give opportunities to youth while making India a preferred investment destination.”

The previous stimulus package of the Indian government released in May proved insufficient in uplifting the economy from the decline caused by the Coronavirus lockdown. The focus of this package was to increase liquidity and provide easy credit to small businesses but no concrete steps were proposed to boost spending. In this package, the worst affected sectors like tourism, hospitality and aviation were not addressed. Modi government is going to announce another big economic package on Diwali with a primary focus on generating job opportunities.

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