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Centre forms Finance Minister-led COVID-19 economic response task force: PM Modi

The task force will look at measures to limit economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the  PM said in his address to the nation.

Published: 19th March 2020 09:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2020 09:34 PM   |  A+A-

An official uses thermal screening device on visitorsin the wake of coronavirus pandemic. (Photo | PTI)

An official uses thermal screening device on visitors in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced setting up of a 'Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force' to decide on relief package for sectors hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

The task force, to be headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will look at measures to limit economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said in his address to the nation.

Sectors ranging from tourism to aviation to certain segments have been battered as countries closed borders, restricted air travel and industries went into emergency lockdowns.

"In view of the economic challenges posed by coronavirus pandemic, the government has decided to set up a Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force under Finance Minister," Modi said.

This task force, he said, will decide on steps to be taken to overcome economic hardships.

He also appealed to the trading community as well as the affluent to look after the interest of their employees and not penalise them for being unable to attend work due to travel and other restrictions.

While the aviation industry has been hit hard by suspension of flights on certain sectors and travels bans, hotels and tourism sector has suffered due to cancellations.

The lock-down in China, where the coronavirus inflection originated, has led to supply issues with pharmaceutical as well as electronics industry.

This has led to temporary layoffs in some sectors.

Industry has been seeking relief in terms of lowering of taxes and easing norms to help elevate hardships.

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