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COVID-19: Congress Party Lawmaker Rahul Gandhi Seeks Ideas to Rescue Small Businesses in India

New Delhi (Sputnik): To provide relief for the marginalised sections of society, India unveiled a $22 billion package on 26 March. India's Central Bank has also cut the benchmark lending rate to provide liquidity to industries and businesses.

A lawmaker from India's main opposition party Congress, Rahul Gandhi, has sought ideas from the public on rescuing the country's micro, small, and medium enterprises from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The former party chief stated in a tweet, "COVID19 has devastated our micro, small & medium businesses (MSME). The Congress party needs your help. Send us suggestions & ideas for what a MSME economic stimulus package should cover".

Congress sources say the suggestions will be collected and sent to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which is in the process of finalising a package for industry.

Gandhi has been vocal about concerns for small businesses, which are facing the brunt due to the pandemic.

On 12 April, Gandhi also raised concerns on opportunistic investment and stake purchase in vulnerable Indian firms by Chinese investors and he suggested that the Indian government look into it. 

The Modi-led government made changes to India's Foreign Domestic Investment (FDI) rules on 18 April. The changes required mandatory approval by the Indian government to all Chinese FDI proposals in India.

The Indian Finance Ministry under Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is finalising a stimulus package for industry.

Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday told reporters in New Delhi that the government will make the stimulus package public the moment it is finalised.

India is also looking at how best to utilise the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the context of shifting their base out of China.

Meanwhile, Junior Minister of Finance Anurag Singh Thakur wrote to a select group of industrialists on how to make India a "global manufacturing hub" and sought "implementable ideas" from the industrialists.

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