Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das will hold a press conference today, day after a relief package announced by the government to clear the economic mess due to coronavirus pandemic.
According to news agency Reuters, the RBI is expected to announce steps to ease stress for businesses in the coming weeks. It is also likely to ease bad-loan classification norms and allow banks to raise their lending ceiling to help companies, reported Reuters.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a Rs 1,70,000 crore package under a new scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (PMGKBY), to address the immediate economic distress in the wake of the lockdown prompted by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and ensure food and cash reaches the marginalised segments of society.
Sitharaman, at a press conference in New Delhi, announced a series of measures which focused on additional food transfers at no cost, cash for vulnerable segments, concessions on government schemes aimed to help households reduce their expenditure, and support those on the frontline of the battle against the pandemic.
The primary beneficiaries of these measures include those below the poverty line, farmers, women, elderly citizens, the physically challenged, construction workers, and workers in both the unorganised and organised sectors.
Sitharaman underlined that within 36 hours of the lockdown – Prime Minister Narendra Modi directed a national lockdown for three weeks on Tuesday night – the government had come up with measures to immediately take care of welfare concerns of the poor. She, however, did not address questions about the fiscal implications of the scheme, or announce measures for other sectors which have also got severely affected in the wake of the restrictions and the lockdown.
The government aims to distribute 5 kilograms of wheat or rice for each person free of cost, with a kilogram of pulses for every low-income family, helping to feed about 800 million poor people over the next three months.
Sitharaman also outlined plans for medical insurance worth Rs 50 lakh per person for every front-line health worker, from doctors, nurses and paramedics to those involved in sanitary services.
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