Third ’stimulus like’ package by month-end: Commerce Secretary

February 5th, 2009 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) The government will come out with a “stimulus like package” by the end of this month to help the country’s corporate sector tide over the impact of the current global financial crisis, Commerce Secretary G.K. Pillai said Thursday.”I don’t think it would be a stimulus package like we had earlier but will be like that,” Pillai said here on the sidelines of the International Plastic Conference, referring to two packages announced since December to pump-prime the economy.

The commerce secretary, however, declined to clarify what the new package would entail and said an announcement will be made after the various ministries finalise its broad contours.

He said the measures taken by the government and the central bank were expected to help nurse the economy back to good health from June.

The government had unveiled the first package Dec 7 that called for additional state spending worth $4 billion (about Rs.20,000 crore/Rs.200 billion) in the remaining months of the fiscal to spur growth, while cutting value-added tax across the board by four percent.

The second one announced Jan 2 provided access to Rs.30,000 crore (Rs.300 billion) worth of tax-free bonds to India Infrastructure Finance Co, and called for the setting up of a holding company to provide credit worth Rs.25,000 crore (Rs.250 billion) to non-banking finance firms.

With exports declining for the third straight month in December and industrial output also logging a sluggish expansion, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has been under pressure to unveil another package before national elections are formally announced.

Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar had also said last week the government was likely to announce a third stimulus package soon to fuel economic growth, adding that the new set of doles will contain sector-specific measures, especially for the infrastructure sector and exporters .

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who now holds additional charge of finance portfolio, had recently said the two stimulus packages given by the government to boost the economy had started working.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |