LIVE: FM Sitharaman to address media shortly
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will address media at 1 pm today, raising hopes that the government is likely to announce relief measures for the country that is grappling with the deadly coronavirus and is in a 21-day lockdown to fight the COVID-19 disease. This will be the second media briefing of the finance minister within a week. Sitharaman on Tuesday (March 24) had announced a series of relief measures for industry and taxpayers. The finance minister on Tuesday had said that an economic package for the country was on cards as the government was committed to take rescue measures for the economy. Sitharaman will address media and people via video-conferencing, she said in a tweet. Announcing the timing of her briefing via video conference, Nirmala Sitharaman said she would make some announcements about statutory and regulatory compliance matters in context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases rose to 649 in India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. The report also stated the death toll in India due to novel coronavirus has reached 13.
Earlier this week, the Finance Minister had said a package is under works and will be announced soon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week had constituted a task force headed by the Finance Minister to work out the package for economy hit by coronavirus. Earlier, the United States Senate also passed a $2 trillion to blunt coronavirus pandemic's economic impact. America has already announced that its stimulus package was aimed to provide loans to households as well as small and large scale businesses.