People wear masks as a precaution against coronavirus | PTI File Photo
People wear masks as a precaution against coronavirus | PTI File Photo
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New Delhi: India is considering offering easier loan repayment terms and tax breaks for small-and medium-sized companies to help Asia’s third-largest economy weather the onslaught of the coronavirus, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The Finance Ministry is considering extending loan tenors and relaxing bad-debt norms for small firms, the person said, asking not to be identified as the discussions were private. A spokesman at the ministry was not immediately available for a comment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is under pressure to shield the $2.7 trillion economy from the impact of the virus outbreak at a time when expansion is already poised for its weakest pace in more than a decade. Countries, including the U.S., China and Indonesia, have announced plans to spend billions of dollars to stem a slide in growth.

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.

U.S. 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 too. Having already dropped her loyalty to a balanced budget, German Chancellor Angela Merkel even said she was willing to discuss pooling the euro-area’s borrowing capacity. – Bloomberg

Also read: Modi govt raises excise duty on petrol & diesel by Rs 3, unlikely to affect final price


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