Jaishankar applauds Sitharaman’s ‘bold initiatives’, says ‘foreign policy begins at home’

Jaishankar applauds Sitharaman’s ‘bold initiatives’, says ‘foreign policy begins at home’

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday lauded Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcements under government’s Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package and described them as “bold initiatives”.

“Foreign Policy begins at home. A strong economy allows our voice to be heard in the world. Applaud FM @nsitharaman’s bold initiatives under PM @narendramodi’s leadership in reviving the MSME sector,” Jaishankar tweeted.

The foreign minister said that the MSMEs are the backbone of the economy and we “must never allow it to be hollowed out”. Jaishankar said he appreciates the support provided to stressed sectors of the economy.

“India is today driven by a new vision, a stronger purpose and a deeper commitment. A self-reliant India has more to offer to the world. #AtmaNirbharBharat,” Jaishankar posted in a tweet.

The finance minister’s Wednesday’s announcement was studded with a slew of measures for helping various economic sectors amid the coronavirus crisis. Sitharaman announced a Rs 5.9 lakh crore stimulus on Wednesday with a sharp focus on MSMEs. The government also announced a liquidity scheme for NBFCs, HFCs and MFIs. While the rates of TDS and TCS were reduced by 25% to help investors and professionals, statutory deductions on EPF contributions for formal sector employees and employers too were lowered.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the announcements by the FM “will go a long way in addressing issues faced by businesses, especially MSMEs”.

“The steps announced will boost liquidity, empower the entrepreneurs and strengthen their competitive spirit,” PM Modi tweeted on Wednesday.

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