During the session, the Finance Minister said that COVID -19 Pandemic continues to impact the developing and developed countries till date and the hard-fought gains in reducing the level of poverty, achieved over a number of years, are at great risk of being lost. She said that the Government of India has taken several measures to contain the spread of the pandemic, and also to mitigate its social and economic impact.
The Finance Minister shared that the Government has announced the first stimulus of 23 billion dollars to provide direct cash transfers and food security measures to the poor. This was followed by a special economic package of 271 Billion Dollars which is equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP based on a clarion call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for AatmaNirbhar Bharat.
The Finance Minister also apprised the Committee about the major reforms in the labour sector by simplifying, amalgamating and rationalising 44 central labour laws, providing effective social protection to the migrant workers through National Portability of ration cards. The Union Finance Minister also mentioned that the Government has committed 2.03 Billion Dollars for strengthening of health infrastructure in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. She said that being a responsible member of the global fraternity, India is ready to share its experience and also play a leading role in the South Asian region as part of its “Neighbourhood First” policy.
The Finance Minister stated that collective action is the key for an effective response to the pandemic and welcomed the strong performance in Q4 of FY 2020 wherein the World Bank Group has committed 45 billion Dollars for COVID-19 response.