At a time when the world is suffering from a deadly pandemic, India plans to convert this crisis into an opportunity and strengthen its fight by becoming Aatmanirbhar or self-reliant.
The term was coined by the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi during his address to the nation on May 12, 2020. He called this campaign as Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan (Self- Reliant India Movement). He also defined five pillars of Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography and Demand. He stressed upon the fact that it is time to become vocal for our local products and make them global. Under this campaign, a special economic package has been released by the government, which will benefit various segments including cottage industry, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), labourers, middle class, and industries, among others.
The economic package that was announced by the Prime Minister along with various packages released during the lockdown period comes to around Rs 20 lakh crore (US$ 283.73 billion), which is about 10 per cent of India's GDP. It is expected to provide support and strength to various sections of the country and give a renewed boost to the development journey of the country in 2020. In order to prove the determination of a self-reliant India, Land, Labour, Liquidity and Laws have all been emphasized in this package.
Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman made all the announcements related to various sectors on different days, split under five tranches and giving detailed information about the steps being carried out by the government.
The first measure being focussed on was the idea of Getting back to work i.e., facilitating employees and employers, businesses, especially MSMEs, to get back to production and workers back to gainful employment. Plans to strengthen Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), Housing Finance Companies (HFCs), Micro Finance Sector and Power Sector were also unfolded.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGK) was introduced in April 2020 in order to provide relief to underprivileged and help them fight the battle against COVID-19. The budget allocated to the scheme was Rs 1.70 lakh crore (US$ 24.12 billion). The support was given in the form of: