There could be a stimulus package by the end of the year. Sources say that inputs are already being gathered as to which sector should be the focus of this package. One indication is that the focus is likely to be the food, travel and tourism sector as it has been hit hard. While recovery in other sectors have been slow but sure, people are still apprehensive about travel and eating out. Indications are that if and when the package comes, the focus will be on this sector as it also generates employment. Apart from these sectors, the package is likely to focus on MSMEs.
Speaking to News18, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant was very hopeful of the festive season sales. “If you look at purchasing manager index, it is 56.8 which is an eight-year high in September. And this is because of optimism. The key is automobiles and this has been very good this month,” he said.
The government is looking at more monetisation in sectors like railways, defence and few others. Amitabh Kant added, “We have added monetisation to key sectors like aviation, railways, new railway stations, airport which should bring in more private sector investment. Also, finance minister’s announcement of Rs 78,000 crore will help which means I can encash LTC leaves.” This announcement has given hope that central government employees would open their wallets. And now finance ministry hopes that states also do a similar one at their level.
But the worry is whether middle class will go out to spend. Amitabh Kant is hopeful. “My estimate is that middle class has not spent in the last five to six months but now they will go out and do a lot of revenge spending which will help. So this Diwali, many of us will go out to shop.”
As to when and if the stimulus can happen, Kant said, “We should keep our powder dry and wait for how Covid-19 plays out and then see the impact.” The industry hopes that sales would pick up with more money being provided to people as cash and this could see a surge in the economy and more money into the system. The hope is that sparkle should not dim.