Coronavirus: India Inc seeks economic package from government

Coronavirus: India Inc seeks economic package from government



New Delhi: India Inc has sought an economic package from the Centre to tide over the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and support small and medium businesses to keep their enterprises afloat while catering to the needs of the poor and informal sector workers. 

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has submitted recommendations to the government seeking an "economic package" entailing additional support to the lowest strata and the informal sector through cash transfers, amounting to Rs 2 lakh crore to Jan Dhan account holders. 

It also suggested the Centre to enhance credit limits for working capital across the board to all industries and additional reconstruction term loans to MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and stressed sectors with a government guarantee on default, up to 20 per cent. 

Another industry chamber Assocham has also sought a "stimulus package" of at least USD 200-USD 300 billion "to thwart one of the deepest global recession expected in the world's history", its Secretary General Deepak Sood said. 

He said the chamber believes that in keeping up with most economies of the world to institute stimulus measures with 10 per cent of the gross domestic product, the Indian economy would need a transfusion of over USD200 billion with an ability to go up to USD 300 billion, over the next 12-18 months. 

In its submission, FICCI has recommended that an additional sum of Rs 1 lakh crore (over and above the PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme) must be earmarked and transferred to states to supplement their efforts to cater to the immediate needs of the poor and informal sector workers. 

It also suggested that interest-free and collateral-free loans be given to MSMEs having a turnover of less than Rs 500 crore for a period of up to 12 months, to enable them to cover fixed costs, salaries and other operational expenses. 

We appreciate the government's proactive and fast track measures to safeguard its people, economy, trade and the industry against the wild tide of the COVID-19 pandemic and expect a significant fiscal stimulus of at least 5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at around Rs 11 lakh crore, said D K Aggarwal, president of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

The government has already provided a stimulus of Rs 2 lakh crore, therefore, our expectation is for the remaining Rs 9 lakh crore in terms of various relief measures and benefits to India's trade and industry, he added saying that it would help the economy grow at around 5 per cent in the current financial year.  

The bridge chronicle