Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today to decide the second stimulus package. The meeting follows a series of measures to bring back the economy on the track. The upcoming relief could be roughly similar in size to the Rs 1.7 lakh crore-package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in late March.
The government may announce the first set of measures on Monday, April 27, when the PM will be addressing chief ministers of different states.
The upcoming package will cover the urban and rural poor, including migrant laborers stuck away from their homes. Besides, it may also include micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and some of the worst-affected sectors.
The government might pump in more money into the credit guarantee fund trust for small and medium industries. Besides, payroll support may also be announced for MSME to immediately address the large-scale job losses. The labour ministry had deferred payment of employers' contributions in the EPF to reduce the burden on SMEs.
A proposal for another hike in payments under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), and disbursements under the PM-Kisan scheme could be further accelerated.
Indian industry bodies like Assocham and FICCI have been asking for packages ranging from Rs 9 lakh crore to Rs 23 lakh crore. The government is considering some relief for the service sector as well, which has been hit hard due to the lockdown. Additionally, the government is actively working on a proposal to augment demand. It is anticipated that the target of the proposal to be the bottom 30-40 per cent of the economic strata, including daily wagers and migrant labourers.