Industry welcomes stimulus measures for poor, vulnerable sections; hopes for stimulus for distressed businesses

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India Inc welcomed the Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package for the poor and most vulnerable sections and said now it is high time that the government take measures to ease pain of distressed businesses hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The Centre’s economic package involves free food grains and cooking gas to the poor for the next three months, one-time doles to women and poor senior citizens, higher wages to workers and measures to boost liquidity of employees as the Centre looks to contain the impact of unprecedented nationwide lockdown.

“The entire package is expected to alleviate the difficulties currently being faced by the poor and the distressed. However, the government could be more aggressive in its spending with an overall fiscal stimulus at 2.5-3 per cent of GDP if the disruptions continue for the next 3 months,” CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said. The industry chamber expects some measures for addressing the needs of distressed businesses, especially in the small and medium scale sector, which have very little cash flows in the current circumstances. “The government needs to excuse them from making statutory payments such as utility and GST payments for the next three months. Special support is also needed for severely affected sectors such as tourism and hospitality,” Banerjee said.

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