Indian government introduces 20 trillion rupee (US$264bn) stimulus package

The Indian government imposed restrictions on movement until 17 May. However, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade identified some sectors where limited activity should be allowed and these include timber, plywood and wood-based industries as they provide packaging material to drug and food companies.

The lockdown has resulted in many lay-off and an April survey by the National Sample Survey and Periodic Labour Force Surveys suggested that over 136 million non-agricultural jobs were at immediate risk of losing their jobs. Workers without formal employment contracts, casual labourers and those in small companies are the most vulnerable.

To deal with this the government announced a 20 trillion rupee (US$264bn) economic package (around 10% of GDP) to support farmers and small businesses. By mid-May, India had more than 70,000 confirmed virus cases among its 1.3 billion population but this is expected to expand sharply in the coming weeks.

The government has indicated the strict stay-at-home restriction will be extended beyond 17 May and new restrictions will apply.