Govt looks to reverse economic slowdown with a stimulus package

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  1. The government is planning a set of measures to reverse an economic slowdown that is going through losses, layoffs and an investment freeze.
  2. The measures include (a)steps to boost infrastructure investments (b)goods and services tax(GST) relief to specific sectors (c)ways to further cut red tape on cross-border trade and (d)steps to improve ease of doing business.
  3. The government is also working on a new World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant duty reimbursement scheme.
  4. Further,fiscal responsibility and budget management(FRBM) Act constrained the government from providing a fiscal push in the Union budget.
  5. But the government is considering the use of escape clause in the FRBM Act for deviation in the fiscal deficit up to 50 basis points.
  6. This may give the government leeway to spend an additional ₹1.15 trillion in the current fiscal.The package will have concrete steps to implement the government’s ambitious plans for ₹100 trillion infrastructure investment over the next five years.
  7. The panel led by N.K. Singh to review the FRBM Act had suggested an escape clause allowing deviations up to 0.5 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product based on triggers including far-reaching structural reforms in the economy with unanticipated fiscal implications,acts of war and farm distress.