Sensex trades 1,000 pts higher after FM’s Rs 1.70 lakh cr-stimulus package announcement to deal with Covid-19 lockdown – business news

Equity benchmark Sensex was trading over 1,000 points higher in afternoon session on Thursday after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a stimulus package worth Rs 1.70 lakh crore to cushion the impact of the lockdown in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Paring early gains, the 30-share BSE barometer was up 1,055.11 points or 3.70 per cent at 29,590.89. It rallied over 1,500 points in morning session.

Similarly, the NSE Nifty stood 284.20 points, or 3.42 per cent, higher at 8,602.05 at 1430 hours.

IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying up to 34 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, L&T, Bajaj Finance and HDFC. On the other hand, Maruti, Reliance Industries, NTPC and Sun Pharma were among the top laggards.

In an effort to cushion the economic blow of the 21-day lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to help the citizens survive the crisis.

The Rs 1.70 lakh crore economic package will be implemented with immediate effect.

The Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan scheme includes distribution of 5 kg of wheat or rice and one kg of preferred pulses free-of-cost every month over the next three months to 80 crore poor across the country and Rs 500 per month for next three months to as many of 20.5 crore women Jan Dhan Account holders.

The government will front-load Rs 2,000 paid to farmers in first week of April under existing PM Kisan Yojana to benefit 8.69 crore farmers.

The Finance Minister also said a Rs 50 lakh insurance cover will be given to healthcare workers who are at the forefront of dealing with the pandemic.

The Indian rupee appreciated further by 84 paise to 75.10 against the US dollar in intra-day trade after the announcement. The number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 649 in India and the death toll rose to 13, with one death reported each from Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, according to the Health Ministry.

Zeeshan Laskar

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