New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: In its bid to pull the sagging economy out of its historic contraction, the Centre is planning to announce a fresh round of stimulus of about USD 20 billion (approximately Rs 1.5 lakh crore), according to government sources quotes by Reuters in a report. 

The report further quoted sources saying that the stimulus package will be finalised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other finance ministry officials on Thursday.

The package would follow Wednesday's earlier announcement of production-linked incentives worth about USD 27 billion (approx Rs 2 lakh crore) over five years for manufacturers in 10 sectors.

The government had announced a Rs 1.70 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKP) in March to protect the poor and vulnerable sections from the impact of COVID-19 crisis. It was followed by the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan package of Rs 20.97 lakh crore in May, largely focussed on supply side measures and long-term reforms.

The Indian economy, which the International Monetary Fund singled out as a global bright spot only a few years ago, contracted a hefty 23.9% in the April-June quarter and is seen contracting over 10% in the fiscal year to March 2021.

Coronavirus cases are still surging in major Indian cities and the country has been adding over 40,000 cases a day. Active coronavirus cases have nevertheless fallen below 500,000 for the first time in over three months although the government has eased nearly all restrictions to curb the virus' spread.

Last month, Sitharaman had announced a slew of measures to spur demand and ramp up capital expenditure. This was the third stimulus package since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta