Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (File photo: ANI)NEW DELHI: The finance ministry is working on a second relief package for the Indian economy hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the contagion, sources said. Last month, the government announced a Rs 1.70 lakh crore relief package in the form of foodgrains and cash transfers for the poor and vulnerable section of the society to help them deal with the hardships caused by the lockdown. Now, the government is working on a stimulus to be given to hard-hit sectors of the economy after the lockdown is lifted, sources said, adding, an announcement is expected in the next few days depending on the severity of the pandemic. Besides, further relief measures are being worked upon to mitigate the hardships faced by citizens, especially the poor and vulnerable section of the society, sources added. Coronavirus outbreak: Live updates The finance ministry along with the empowered group constituted by the Prime Minister's office (PMO) is working tirelessly on this aspect, sources said. Last week, the PMO constituted a seven-member empowered group headed by economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty, who is monitoring the situation on a daily basis. The empowered group is not only looking at the pain points of the economy but also the distress and misery being faced by a large section of the society who have been rendered jobless due to the outbreak. Last month, the finance minister announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore stimulus that included free foodgrains and cooking gas to poor for three months, and cash doles to women and poor senior citizens as it looked to ease the economic impact of the nationwide lockdown. Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet on Monday approved a 30 per cent reduction in salary and allowances of members of parliament for one year to fight against Covid-19. An MP gets Rs 5 crore every year as part of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
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