Rs 20-lakh cr stimulus package: At 10% of GDP, Narendra Modi's Atma-nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan ranks among biggest in world

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pledge of a total spending of Rs 20 lakh crore to weather the fallout of coronavirus pandemic is among the largest economic stimulus package announced by nations around the world

Press Trust of India May 13, 2020 18:47:05 IST
Rs 20-lakh cr stimulus package: At 10% of GDP, Narendra Modi's Atma-nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan ranks among biggest in world

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pledge of a total spending of Rs 20 lakh crore to weather the fallout of coronavirus pandemic is among the largest economic stimulus package announced by nations around the world.

Modi's Atma-nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan or Self-reliant India Mission is about 10 percent of India's GDP in 2019-20 and would rank behind Japan, the US, Sweden, Australia and Germany.

But unlike the most relief packages announced globally, Rs 20 lakh crore is not entirely in new spending and includes Rs 1.7 lakh crore package the government had announced in March as well as the steps taken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) such as liquidity enhancing measures and interest rate cuts.

Rs 20lakh cr stimulus package At 10 of GDP Narendra Modis Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan ranks among biggest in world

Representational image. Reuters

With global lockdowns imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 causing economic turmoil that is touted to be worst since the 1930s, nations around the world have announced what came to be known as 'coronavirus stimulus packages'.

The US has committed to the largest rescue package by any country in pure dollar terms of $2.7 trillion but as percentage of GDP it trails behind Japan, according to data compiled by economist Ceyhun Elgin in the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Index (CESI).

Japan has announced a package equivalent to 21.1 percent of its GDP. It has outlined $1.1 trillion recovery package and plans for further spending.

The US measures work out at an estimated 13 percent of GDP.

It is followed by Sweden with a stimulus equal to 12 percent of its GDP and Australia (10.8 percent). Germany has announced a spending of around $815 billion, equal to 10.7 percent of its GDP.

Italy, which endured devastating coronavirus outbreak, has announced an Euro 750 billion (around $815 billion) package.

India's Rs 20 lakh crore package equals to $265 billion, all of which is not government spending as in case of the US where entire $2.7 trillion is the money that the Trump administration will spend and does not include what the Federal Reserve (US central bank) might have done.

In March, India committed Rs 1.7 lakh crore ($22.6 billion) in COVID-19 related relief measures that included free foodgrains to poor and some cash to poor senior citizens and women. This was followed by Rs 3.7 lakh crore of liquidity support by the RBI in March and another Rs 2 lakh crore in April.

The RBI had last month said its measures provided support equivalent to 3.5 percent of the GDP.

The Rs 20 lakh crore package Modi talked on Tuesday evening includes these measures.

The United Kingdom with a 100 billion pound package of immediate fiscal spending (and 330 billion pound of deferred payments like tax breaks and loan guarantees).

In Europe, Spain and Italy have endured devastating coronavirus outbreaks, the size of stimulus packages are estimated to be 7.3 percent and 5.7 percent of GDP, respectively. France announced a package equal to 9.3 percent of its GDP.

Smaller countries like Luxembourg and Belgium have spent a fifth of their GDP on COVID-19 related stimulus measures, at 20.7 percent and 19.2 percent, respectively.

Modi did not give details of the package saying Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will over the next few days give details.

India's stimulus value in dollar terms is higher than the GDP of 149 countries such as Vietnam, Portugal, Greece, New Zealand and Romania. It almost equals Pakistan's annual GDP of $284 billion.

Also, the stimulus is 1.8 times bigger than $147 billion in the fortune of the 10 top wealthiest Indians. The amount is five times the personal wealth of the richest Indian Mukesh Ambani.

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