A second coronavirus package worth Rs 1 lakh crore for small, medium businesses may soon unveil
: India is poised to announce a second stimulus package in the successive days, worth around Rs 1 lakh crore, and is focused to help small and medium businesses enduring the coronavirus outbreak. Two senior officials said a separate package could be announced for bigger companies after analysing extend of the hit from the nationwide lockdown imposed to fight the coronavirus spread.
Last month, the country outlined Rs 1.7 lakh crores of economic stimulus plans directed towards giving relief to the poor by availing direct cash transfers and food security measures for them. The Indian media has been speculating that the government would soon declare its more relief packages in the coming days.
It is expected that the new package encompasses steps to increase the limits of bank loans for working capital needs, hiking threshold limits for availing tax exemptions and relaxing rules for income tax deposits and other dues which are pending, the sources said.
As per the government estimates, small businesses comprise nearly one-quarter of India’s USD 2.9 trillion economy and employ more than 500 million workers. The central government on Wednesday also announced a release of 180 billion rupees in tax refunds for small businesses and individuals immediately and impose expenditure curbs on a host of departments for the April-June period.
Federal and state governments, and state-run companies owe more than USD66 billion to small businesses. “We are not quite sure how long we will be able to survive if our dues are not cleared,” said KE Raghunathan, former president of All India Manufacturing Association (AIMO). This could help them in clearing the long-pending dues for the sale of their products to different government sectors.
“The government has been formulating various stepsthat set out proposals to provide an immediate relief to small firms in need,” said another government source. The central government has also outlined its plans to partially clear tax refunds owned to small businesses within a month’s duration.
Due to lockdown, a large number of cash-starved India small scale business enterprises have either delayed or cut the workers’ wage of this month, with many suffering wage losses.