India unveils $60bln credit line for small businesses and lenders hit by lockdown

The allocation is part of a $266bln fiscal and monetary package to support

  
India's Minister Nirmala Sitharaman returns a microphone after speaking with media at the 3rd Intersessional Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam May 22, 2017.

India's Minister Nirmala Sitharaman returns a microphone after speaking with media at the 3rd Intersessional Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam May 22, 2017.

REUTERS/Kham

NEW DELHI - India will offer bank loans amounting to 3 trillion rupees ($39.85 billion) to small businesses, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday, as part of measures to combat the damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the plan, the government will provide a credit guarantee to businesses to avail collateral-free loans from banks, aiming to help 4.5 million businesses by October 2020, she said.

The allocation is part of a 20 trillion rupee ($266 billion) fiscal and monetary package to support the economy that has been battered by a weeks-long lockdown.

India has more than 74,000 cases among its 1.3 billion population and is set to surpass China, the origin of the outbreak, in next few days.

($1 = 75.2760 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Sanjeev Miglai) ((manoj.kumar@thomsonreuters.com; +91 11 4954 8029; Reuters Messaging: manoj.kumar.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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