Sources within the ministry have told India Today TV that the next package will be more than Rs 1.7 lakh crores that were given out earlier.

Finance Ministry’s next package to be bigger than previous stimulus of Rs 1.7 lakh crores: Sources (File | PTI)

As lockdown enters the second week, the Finance Ministry is busy preparing a second package for industries. Sources within the ministry have told India Today TV that the next package will be more than Rs 1.7 lakh crores that were given out earlier.

Members from the Prime Minister’s officers, Finance Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Health, Income Tax department officials along with Amitabh Kant have met industry representatives thrice this week to understand the issues that they are facing and their requirements.

Many industry leaders like RC Bhargava (Maruti Suzuki India), Pawan Goenka (Mahindra & Mahindra), Naresh Trehan (Medanta), Amit Kalyani (Bharat Forge Ltd), Banmali Agarwala (Tata Sons) met with government officials to discuss the package.

Sources have told India Today TV that these meetings revolved around the current economic situation and way forward, with industry asking the government for stimulus packages to kick start the economy. Lockdown within the country coupled with the slowdown across the globe because of the novel coronavirus has hit industries adversely and most believe getting back on track will require solid government support.

Some sectors like automobile, aviation and restaurant industry have already sent detailed proposals to the government. The aviation sector is looking for a package of Rs 11,000 crores while the restaurant association has asked for unemployment pay cover for employees as well as a cut in the taxes. Looking at these demands, the government is mulling at giving a bigger package this time around.

However, sources have told India Today TV that the ministry is contemplating over which industries need the maximum protection. Many in the ministry are of the opinion that it is the smaller businesses and MSMEs that need immediate stimulus as they have been hit severely by the lockdown. Officials are now planning the industry-wise share of the stimulus package as every sector at the moment has given presentations and put forth demands.

Experts believe that the Indian economy will witness slowdown which will phase out slowly but it depends on how quickly India and the world become free of novel coronavirus free.

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