India has introduced a Rs1.7 lakh crore financial stimulus package to battle the coronavirus pandemic spreading its tentacles across the country. The country, with its dense population and creaky healthcare system, has already reported nearly 700 cases and is now in the midst of a 21-day national lockdown aimed at avoiding a colossal disaster.
The stimulus announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman yesterday (March 26) partly covers some of the basics that the government desperately needs to get right under these circumstances: ensuring essential services remain operational, migrant workers’ welfare, functional public distribution system etc.
This is in keeping with the assumption that the poor and the most vulnerable will bear the brunt of the lockdown. The idea being to achieve a semblance of equity in this difficult situation.