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Letter to BS: The Rs 20 trn stimulus package is a big disappointment

The actual and immediate fiscal outgo works out to just around 1% of GDP

Coronavirus | Stimulus package | Lockdown

Business Standard 

FM Sitharaman's fifth tranche gets high on reforms, low on stimulus

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 20-trillion economic pitching for a self-reliant India in his fifth televised address to the nation after the outbreak of coronovirus in the country, there was a huge expectation that it would herald a new beginning in the country’s economic growth story besides mitigating the economic woes. But his big-bang economic stimulus package, whose finer details were unveiled by the Union finance minister, has come as a big disappointment with several independent economic experts and the Opposition pointing to wide differences between what was promised and what is being delivered. As things stand, the actual and immediate fiscal outgo works out to just around 1 per cent of GDP. It is nothing but pittance compared to the unfolding economic crisis.

Ramping up public spending without adhering to fiscal conservatism is what the present distressing economic situation demands, but the government still appears to be reluctant to loosen its purse strings Considering the enormous scale of disruptions in the economic activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Union government should have unleashed a far bigger policy support than what it announced.

M Jeyaram Tamil Nadu

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First Published: Mon, May 18 2020. 22:08 IST