This amount of Rs 20 lakh crore includes the financial measures already announced by the Government of India and the RBI for COVID-19, the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra ModiScreengrab
Coronavirus Lockdown Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 20:35

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday evening and announced a special economic package worth Rs 20 lakh crore under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-reliant India Scheme). He added that lockdown 4.0 will be in place from May 18 and details will be out before lockdown 3.0 ends. 

“This package is worth almost 10% of India’s GDP. This will help and support different sectors of the economy and the country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This package will comprise land, labour, liquidity and laws. This will help farmers, small businesses, MSMEs, entrepreneurs. This is for labourers and farmers who are working for the nation day and night. This is for the middle class which pays taxes and helps India’s development,” he added. 

This amount of Rs 20 lakh crore includes the financial measures already announced by the Government of India and the RBI for battling COVID-19, the Prime Minister said. 

Details of the package will be provided by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, PM Modi said. Bold reforms are needed to make India self-reliant, he added. “These reforms are for our farmers, our industries and businesses and will help our Make in India stronger,” he said.

The PM also said that it is possible to follow social distancing norms while also following dreams. Lockdown 4.0 will be different from the other lockdowns that India has seen so far, the Prime Minister said. 

Self-reliant India Scheme

“Our aim is to make India self-reliant. It can become self-reliant. India’s self-reliance is standing on 5 pillars: 1) economy, 2) infrastructure, 3) system 4) demography 5) demand. We have to use them to their optimum,” the Prime Minister said. 

The PM also stressed on local manufacturing and local brands. “Friends, coronavirus has shown us the importance of local supply and local supply chain. In times of trouble, local has saved us. Local is not just a need but our responsibility. Global brands we see today were once upon a time local businesses. So every Indian should be vocal about local. Our country can do this,” PM Modi said.

“It has been over four months since the world started battling COVID-19. During this time over 42 lakh people have been infected across the world. 2.45 lakh people have unfortunately died. In India, too, many people have lost their loved ones. I express my condolences to all,” the PM said.

He told the people in the country that this was a time to not give up. “Friends, one virus has destroyed the world. Across the world, crores of lives have been facing difficulties. The world is in a way at war to save lives. We have not seen or heard of such a calamity. Indeed, it is unimaginable for humanity. But we cannot give up,” he said.

“We have to stay cautious and all rules of war should be followed and we have to move ahead too. Today when the world is in trouble, we have to strengthen our resolve. Our resolve will emerge victorious against this trouble as well,” the PM said. 

“Since the last century, we have been hearing that the 21st century will be India’s century. We have seen and understood a world before the coronavirus. We have seen a world post the coronavirus too. To make 21st Century  India’s century, it is our dream and should be our aim as well. The only way to do this is an independent India,” said Modi. 

“As a country, we are at an important stage. Coronavirus has brought an opportunity. When the pandemic first began, we did not have a single PPE, we had only a few N-95 masks. Now, 2 lakh PPEs and 2 lakh masks are being manufactured. We have been able to do this because we turned adversity into opportunity,” the PM said. 

His announcement came a day after he held a virtual meet with chief ministers of the country. 

Addressing Chief Ministers via a video conference, the Prime Minister also said he is of the "firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the second phase and similarly the measures needed in the third phase are not needed in the fourth," according to an official statement. He had also said the challenges are two-fold - reduction of the transmission rate of the novel coronavirus and gradual increase in public activities while adhering to all guidelines.

The Prime Minister had reaffirmed the importance of 'do gaz doori' (a distance of two yards) and added that suggestion of "night curfew" raised by many chief ministers would surely reaffirm the feeling of caution among people.

During the press conference, several Chief Ministers had voiced their concern about resuming railway services and at least five states, including Telangana, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Punjab, had asked the Prime Minister to extend the lockdown.

The Prime Minister had asked the chief ministers to share by May 15 a broad strategy on how they want to deal with lockdown regime in their states.

"I request you all to share with me by May 15, a broad strategy on how each one of you would want to deal with the lockdown regime in your particular states. I want states to make a blueprint on how to deal with various nuances during and after the gradual easing of the lockdown," he said.

The chief ministers in their suggestions on reviving the economy have sought support to micro, small and medium enterprises, infrastructure projects such as power, easing of interest rates on loans and assured market access to agricultural produce, a statement from the Prime Minister's office said.

Tuesday’s address was the Prime Minister’s fifth address to the nation since the COVID-19 pandemic. In his March 19 address, the Prime Minister announced a "janata curfew" on March 22. On March 24, he announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown. On April 3, in a video message, Modi asked the nation to light lamps for frontline corona warriors on April 5. On April 14, he extended the lockdown period till May 3. On May 1, the lockdown was further extended till May 17 by the Home Ministry.

With agency inputs

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