Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Thursday, announced the constitution of an economic response task force led by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to look into the economic distress arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Keeping in mind the economic challenges arising out of the coronavirus epidemic, the government has decided to constitute a Covid-19 economic response task force led by the Finance Minister," he said.
Modi said the task force will ensure that all steps are taken to reduce the economic difficulties and the measures are effectively implemented.
This comes at a time when the country is already struggling with low growth rates and the government has set itself a steep target of becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2022.
Local equities resumed a slide on Thursday and the rupee weakened to a new low as risk assets continue to be routed amid an increase in the number of coronavirus cases domestically. India has reported 173 infections, while cases hit 211,713 worldwide and deaths exceed 9,000.
Authorities around the world are acting to pre-empt a crisis, focusing on keeping households, small businesses and industries afloat rather than let their economies slip into a recession.
US President Donald Trump promised cash payments of $1,000 or more to Americans as part of a $1.2-trillion stimulus plan. Australia will also provide handouts, and Japan may as well. Having already dropped her loyalty to a balanced budget, German Chancellor Angela Merkel even said she was willing to discuss pooling the Eurozone's borrowing capacity.