NEW DELHI: In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night announced a Rs 20-lakh crore financial package in the name of 'Aatma Nirbhar Package' as a stimulus for the country to cope with the ill-effects of the Coronavirus and its resultant nationwide lockdown.
He said this package will help and guide the country in the year 2020 to set the nation back on track of progress and development.
He said that the package is meant for everyone, every citizen, and every farmer of the country. The package will help every sector, all the employees, and the middle class of the country with an all-encompassing perspective of supporting them.
While outlining the broader framework of the package, he said that from tomorrow (Wednesday) onwards, for some days, the Union finance minister will spell out the details of this broad and expansive financial package.
He also said the whole is involved in a war against the Coronavirus. “We have to save people from the virus as well as move forward. We have to make our determination even stronger.”
The PM said that the 21st century belongs to India. This is not just our dream but also our responsibility, he added.
“Before the virus, not a single PPE kit was manufactured in India. Today, 2 lakh PPE kits and 2 lakh N-95 masks are being manufactured in India. This is happening because India converted a crisis into an opportunity. We are at a critical juncture in this fight against the virus,” he said.
Highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech:
* Let's continue our fight against Coronavirus by protecting our lives
* The dreaded virus has its effect on 42 lakh people globally
* India is showing the way forward for the rest of the world in tackling COVID-19 pandemic
* We should move forward with the approach of self-protection and self-discipline.
* Indian medicines are turning out to be a boon for the world
* Our resolve and determination are greater than the crisis
* India has given the gift of Yoga to the rest of the world
* In 2000, the world encountered the Y2K challenge. It was India that helped the world overcome this.
* Entire world is trusting and keeping faith in India's ability and effciency
* India is attaining self-sufficiency. The coming days are all about technology-based services only
* The Indian economy has seen not incremental progress but a quantum jump.
On Monday, in his video conference meeting with Chief Ministers, Prime Minister Modi said that while the movement of migrant workers would impact states, if they were determined, they should be able to return home in the next 10 days. "It is human nature to want to go home," he had said.
"We know that this will lead to a spike in infections, but this will help free the country from coronavirus," Modi said, urging states to prepare a plan for the migrants and to boost economic activity.
PM Modi had also hinted in the meeting that the lockdown, which has already been extended twice, would continue, but with far fewer restrictions.
"I am of this firm view that the measures that were needed in the first phase of lockdown were found to be not necessary during the second phase. Likewise, the measures that were needed in the third phase are not needed in the fourth," the Prime Minister said at the meeting.
Restrictions like a night curfew and limited public transport may continue in areas worst affected by COVID-19, sources said.