India’s Covid-19 stimulus package almost equal to Pakistan’s GDP

The package works out to roughly 10 per cent of the GDP, making it among the most substantial in the world.

Healthcare workers wearing protective suits and face masks near Dharavi quarantine centres, during a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 in Mumbai, on Tuesday.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)
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The economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation on Tuesday to help small businesses tide over the coronavirus crisis, is almost equal to Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The size of India’s financial package is US $266 billion, or 10 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP). After the coronavirus crisis, Pakistan’s GDP has taken a hit and its size is estimated to be $284 billion, according to World Bank.

In fact, India’s economic relief package for Covid-19 is bigger than Vietnam, Portugal, Greece, New Zealand and Romania.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hailed the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the Rs 20 lakh crore package “is the biggest package India has ever seen”.

Thanking PM Modi for announcing the economic relief package, BJP president JP Nadda said that this is around 10 per cent of the GDP and the prime minister’s proactive approach will build a self-reliant India.

Japan’s fiscal support stands at more than 20 per cent of GDP, while Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia have each rolled out spending amounting to 10 per cent or more of GDP, according to Bloomberg.

While addressing the nation on Tuesday, PM Modi also said that the next stage of the lockdown, which is due to be lifted on May 18 after being extended twice, “will be different in many ways”.

“It will be based on suggestions received from states,” he said, adding that an announcement would also be made in coming days.

“Corona will be part of lives for a long time. But we cannot allow that our lives will just revolve around the corona crisis.”

Apart from some relaxations for industry and agriculture last month, offices this week were allowed to operate with one-third capacity while the country’s massive rail network re-started Tuesday with limited services.