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Second stimulus package this week, says Kamal Nath


New Delhi : In a bid to help the economy tackle the global financial meltdown, the government is expected to come out with its second stimulus package within the next three days, commerce Minister Kamal Nath said here Wednesday.

“We are looking at financial, some liquidity issues, export, and something to stimulate demand and realty also,” Kamal Nath told reporters. He also hinted at possible duty cuts for more goods to encourage demand in the economy.

The first stimulus package came out Dec 7 with an additional public expenditure of Rs.300 billion (Rs.30,000 crore), besides a 4 percent cut in excise duty.

The mid-year economic review tabled in parliament Tuesday projected economic growth rate of 7 percent this fiscal, as compared to 9 percent last year.

Industry and the financial sector are desperately waiting for the second stimulus package as exports declined 12.1 percent in October, while industrial growth fell 0.4 percent to slip into the red after 15 years.

Besides the fiscal stimulus, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced repo rates and the cash reserve ratio, which infused about Rs.3 trillion liquidity into the system.

Sectors such as housing, exports and textiles sectors are expected to benefit from the new stimulus package.