Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday hinted that the government may look at the concerns of India Inc, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) sector and other segments hit by the lockdown and may announce a plan for them later.
“Our first priority is to provide food to the poor and money in their hands. We will think about other things later,” Sitharaman said.
Earlier in the day, the finance minister announced a relief package worth Rs 1,70,000, aimed at providing food security to the poor and money in their hands to fight the Covid-19 pandemic issues.
Speaking about the relief to the travel and aviation sector, that are bearing the brunt of the lockdown, the Finance Minister said, “We will come back when something is ready.”
Sitharaman’s latest announcement comes two days after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a 21-day nationwide lockdown to try to protect India’s 1.3 billion people from the Coronavirus pandemic.
India Inc has been waiting for a package to resolve immediate problems and provide relief to lockdown-hit sectors. The India Inc”s suggestions include withdrawal of LTCG temporarily, removal of buyback tax and deferment of payment of corporate tax.
The industry has also suggested that time-lines for qualifying delays in loan repayment as NPAs should be extended.
(With input from agencies)