PM announces hike in Covid-19 package to Rs20,0000 cr, calls for self-reliant India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced an extended comprehensive economic package of Rs20,00,000 crore to pull the country out of economic distress caused by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown restrictions imposed in its wake.

Recalling the threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to the nation and the toll it took, the prime minister said the crisis that has emerged due to Covid-19 is unprecedented, but in this battle, we not only need to protect ourselves but also have to keep moving forward. 
He said the post Covid world offered a rare chance to fulfill the dream of making the 21st century India’s, adding that the way forward is through ensuring that the country becomes self-reliant. 
Talking about turning a crisis into an opportunity, he gave the example of PPE kits N-95 masks, whose production in India has gone up from almost being negligible to 2 lakh each, on a daily basis.
The prime minister said that the definition of self-reliance has undergone a change in the globalised world and clarified that when the country talks about self-reliance, it is different from being self-centered. He said that India’s culture considers the world as one family, and progress in India is part of, and also contributes to, progress in the whole world.  He noted that the world trusts that India has a lot to contribute towards the development of the entire humanity.
Recalling the devastation in Kutch after the earthquake, the prime minister said that through determination and resolve, the area was back on its feet. A similar determination is needed to make the country self-reliant.
He said that a self-reliant India will stand on five pillars, viz:  Economy, which brings in quantum jump and not incremental change; Infrastructure, which should become the identity of India; System, based on 21st century technology driven arrangements; Vibrant Demography, which is our source of energy for a self-reliant India; and Demand, whereby the strength of our demand and supply chain should be utilised to full capacity. He underlined the importance of strengthening all stakeholders in the supply chain to increase, as well as fulfill, the demand.
The prime minister announced a special economic package and gave a clarion call for Atmanirbhar Bharat. He noted that this package, taken together with earlier announcements by the government during Covid crisis and decisions taken by RBI, is to the tune of Rs20 lakh crore, which is equivalent to almost 10 per cent of India’s GDP. He said that the package will provide a much needed boost towards achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
He said the package will also focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws. It will cater to various sections, including cottage industry, MSMEs, labourers, middle class, industries, among others. He informed that finance minister Nirmal Sitaraman will announce the detailed contours of the package in a few days beginning tomorrow.
Talking about the positive impact of reforms like JAM trinity and others on the economy, the prime minister said several bold reforms are needed to make the country self-reliant, so that the impact of crisis such as Covid, can be negated in future. 
These reforms include supply chain reforms for agriculture, rational tax system, simple and clear laws, capable human resource and a strong financial system. These reforms will promote business, attract investment, and further strengthen Make in India.
The prime minister said self-reliance will prepare the country for tough competition in the global supply chain, and it is important that the country wins this competition. The same has been kept in mind while preparing the package. It will not only increase efficiency in various sectors but also ensure quality, he said.
He said the package will also focus on empowering the poor, labourers, migrants, etc., both from organized and unorganized sectors.
He observed that the crisis has taught us the importance of local manufacturing, local market and local supply chains. All our demands during the crisis were met ‘locally’. Now, its time to be vocal about the local products and help these local products become global, he said.
He said that several experts and scientists have said that the virus is going to be part of our lives for a long time. But, it is also important to ensure that our life does-not revolve only around it. He exhorted people to work towards their targets while taking precautions like wearing masks and maintaining ‘do gaz doori’.
On the fourth stage of lockdown, he said its contours will be completely different from those seen yet. He said new rules will be framed on the basis of recommendations received from states, and information about the same will be conveyed before 18 May.