Cash handout to poor, workers if situation evolves: FinMin sources

New Delhi (IANS) The government may consider direct cash transfers to the poor and migrant labourers if the current crisis deepens and a situation evolves where this exercise emerges as the best solution, a top Finance Ministry source said on Friday.

With no work in the cities due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, millions of migrant labourers have taken to the road and other means to return back to their homes. This section of the society has been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as their sources of income have completely dried up.

The source also said that the Finance Ministry has asked the Labour Ministry to collect data on job losses and pay cuts in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Asked about monetising the fiscal deficit by printing more money, the official said that the issue would be looked at "when we reach that stage", asserting that it has not come to that stage yet.

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On restrictions put on Chinese investments in India, the official clarified that no decision has yet been taken to restrict China through the foreign portfolio investment (FPI) route.

With regard to the government's Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, the official source defended its structure while suggesting that comparisons with the economic packages of other countries should not be drawn as India's need was different than others.

"We have gone with more reforms that were needed to give strength to the economy. This is required more in our country," the source said.

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