NEW DELHI, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Indian government Monday announced major schemes to boost demands and stimulate consumer spending in the country by nearly 9.95 billion U.S. dollars, according to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
"Proposals to stimulate consumer spending has two components -- Leave Travel Concession (LTC) cash voucher scheme and Special Festival Advance Scheme," a government spokesman said.
"Under the scheme, government employees can opt to receive cash amounting to leave encashment plus three times ticket fare, to buy something of their choice. Special Festival Advance Scheme which was meant for non-gazetted government employees is being revived as a one-time measure, for gazetted employees too."
Spelling out details of the schemes, Sitharaman said it would boost consumer spending to the tune of 9.95 billion U.S. dollars.
"If demand goes up based on the stimulus measures announced today, it will have an impact on those people who have been affected by COVID-19 and are desperately looking for demand to keep their business going," Sitharaman said.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the country's economy.
The sudden announcement of lockdown on March 24 this year paralyzed economic activities and badly hit the Indian economy, resulting in the loss of jobs.
The work in organized and unorganized sectors stopped at once, leaving thousands of people without work.
Though the government announced several packages to boost the economy, the economic situation is yet to improve.
On Monday morning 66,732 new COVID-19 cases and 816 related deaths were recorded in the country during the past 24 hours, which has pushed the country's COVID-19 tally to 71,20,538 including 1,09,150 deaths.
Globally India is the second worst-hit country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Bank said India's GDP is expected to contract by 9.6 percent last week in the current fiscal which is reflective of the countrywide lockdown and the income shock experienced by households and firms due to the ongoing pandemic. Enditem