Minister for State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur on Tuesday said the Indian rupee was one of the better performing Asian currencies in 2020. "In the financial year 2020-21, the Indian rupee (INR) has appreciated by 3.53 per cent till February 2, 2021, as per the information provided by Reserve Bank of India," Thakur said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
He also said India enforced one of the most stringent lockdowns during April-June, 2020, compared to other key Asian countries and the contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) is consistent with the effect of the stringent lockdown.
"Owing to stringent lockdown measures, India was able to significantly contain the death rate from COVID-19. With gradual unlocking of the country, the economy made a significant V-shaped recovery," he said.
Sharing various steps taken by the government during 2020-21 to revive growth hit by COVID-19 pandemic, the minister said the government announced a special economic and comprehensive package under AatmaNirbhar Bharat including measures taken by RBI amounting to about Rs 27.1 lakh crores - more than 13 per cent of India's GDP - to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to revive economic growth.
The package included, among others, in-kind and cash transfer relief measures for households, employment provision measures under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan and increased allocation under MGNREGS, credit guarantee and equity infusion-based relief measures for MSMEs and NBFCs and regulatory and compliance measures, he said.
Structural reforms were also announced as part of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Package which included deregulation of the agricultural sector, change in definition of MSMEs, new PSU policy, commercialization of coal mining, higher FDI limits in defence and space sector and development of Industrial Land/ Land Bank and Industrial Information System.
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