New Delhi, March 21: "Economic package for the Corona virus-hit sectors will be announced as soon as possible", announced FinMin on Friday after meeting ministers and officials of civil aviation, animal husbandry, tourism and MSME ministries to take stock of the situation following the Covid-19 outbreak.
"I had a meeting with tourism, MSME, civil aviation, animal husbandry sectors. These ministries presented assessment of their sector after consultation with their stakeholders. We had a detailed discussion in the presence of the Finance Secretary and Economic Affairs Secretary. We are compiling their suggestions," she said. The minister, however, did not give any timeline by when the package will be unveiled.
The ministry is slated to hold an internal meeting today to firm up the action plan to deal with the crisis. The finance minister also said the task force announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is yet to be constituted. On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation had said the government is setting up a 'Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force' to decide on relief package for sectors hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
"Task force is not yet constituted but keeping in mind the sense of urgency, the ministry was holding this meeting. Of course when the task force is constituted it will also get the benefit of these meetings. Other ministries are also sending us their suggestions," she said.
Stressing at the relief measures for the financial sector, Sitharaman said, "SEBI has come up with a list of regulations which will also sort of keep the markets a bit stable. But I can't say what I am doing for the markets. At the moment, we are at a critical stage of collecting everybody's inputs and also the ministry is working in detail about all the inputs which have come."
Novel coronavirus cases in India have reached to 258 on Saturday after 35 fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country, according to the Health Ministry. Among the 258 are 39 foreign nationals, including 17 from Italy, three from the Philippines, two from the UK, one each belonging to Canada, Indonesia and Singapore.