S Jaishankar

Jaishankar praises Rs.20 lakh crore stimulus plan, prepares for next

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has described Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement under government’s Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package under Atma Nirbhar Bharat as “bold initiatives” and noted that freign policy begins at home, hinting at changes soon to foreign policy too.

“Foreign Policy begins at home. A strong economy allows our voice to be heard in the world. Applaud FM @nsitharaman’s bold initiatives under PM @narendramodi’s leadership in reviving the MSME sector,” Jaishankar tweeted.

In a series of tweets on the stimulus plan, he followed it saying, “This is the backbone of the economy. We must never allow it to be hollowed out…Also appreciate the support provided to stressed sectors of the economy… India is today driven by a new vision, a stronger purpose and a deeper commitment. A self-reliant India has more to offer to the world.”

The finance minister’s plan included several measures for helping various economic sectors amid the coronavirus crisis such as — a Rs 5.9 lakh crore with a sharp focus on MSMEs, a liquidity scheme for NBFCs, HFCs and MFIs. It has reduced the rates of TDS and by 25%, lowering statutory deductions on EPF contributions by employees and employers.

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted describing the announcements by the FM “will go a long way in addressing issues faced by businesses, especially MSMEs… The steps announced will boost liquidity, empower the entrepreneurs and strengthen their competitive spirit.”

India to grow with World

Referring to Modi’s speech earlier this week, Jaishankar clarified that the call for self-reliant India doesn’t mean shutting down doors to globalization. He tweeted saying India seeks to grow with the world. “Vision of a self-reliant India that will convert the Corona challenge into opportunity. India will grow, but grow with the world. Will contribute fully to global resilience,” he tweeted.

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