New Delhi: Soon after the announcements made to offer relaxations with regard to statutory and regulatory compliances for companies, the government today came out with a comprehensive Rs 1.7 lakh crore PM Gareeb Kalyan package to support the most vulnerable and needy sections of the society who are facing the brunt of situations created by the spread of coronavirus.
FICCI has been demanding this kind of support and the chamber welcomes the government’s approach in dealing with the situation.
“The steps announced by the government are critical and substantial to help the most vulnerable sections of the society through the immediate crisis. The government has also shown that it’s determined to act with urgency and impact both to keep the citizens safe and also to mitigate their economic hardship. FICCI also supports the government’s approach to start the relief measure with the bottom of the pyramid as they are the ones who need it most urgently both in urban and rural India,” said Dr Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI.
“Once again we see the government being swift in its actions and extremely responsive to the requirements of the day. The crisis facing the nation not just relates to health, but it is a larger economic and humanitarian crisis and requires the kind of response we saw today from the Finance Minister. We needed at this hour to assure the poor and vulnerable sections of society that the government and the country stands with them and would not let them suffer on account of want of food, healthcare or money to meet their daily requirements. The announcements offer relief to a very large section of society and we are encouraged to note that all the steps announced come into force with immediate effect,” said Dr Reddy.
“As an expression of deep gratitude on behalf of all Indians for the frontline soldiers of the healthcare community that are leading India’s war against covid-19, the government has announced a health insurance coverage of Rs 50 lakh. This is extremely praiseworthy, and FICCI has suggested the same as we need to think not just of our patients but also of the people who are treating them in our hospitals and clinics,” added Dr Reddy.
“The disruptions caused by covid-19 and its spread are massive. We see dislocations across sectors. There is a large-scale movement of people taking place as economic activity comes to a halt. Amidst this, it was important to highlight that by staying back at home, one’s economic and social needs will be catered to by the government. Through the large- scale cash transfer program announced by the government, we will see this intended impact. The government has tried to utilise the infrastructure of bank accounts and DBT created over time and is putting it to good use,” she said.
“FICCI had suggested the need for such a nation-wide cash transfer program and to take care of people involved in the MGNREGA scheme and those in the informal segment of society. We had also suggested front-loading of the amounts due under the PM-KISAN scheme. While the transfer of money into the bank accounts will be the easy part, government will have to ensure that the supply chains of all kinds of commodities of daily use remain intact so that essential goods get delivered at the last mile across the length and breadth of the country,” added Dr Reddy.
The announcement to contribute both the employer and employee share to the PF accounts for the next three months for enterprises with upto 100 workers and having 90% of the staff earning upto Rs 15000/- will provide a lot of comfort the micro and small enterprises. This measure is in line with what we are seeing in other parts of the world where small businesses are being supported by way of liquidity management tools.
FICCI looks forward to the next set of announcements by the Finance Minister aimed at the corporate sector that is also essential to keep the economic fabric of the country intact and we are hopeful that same will be announced in quick succession.