India unveils $40 billion credit line for small businesses

India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attends a joint news conference with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in New Delhi
India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attends a joint news conference with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in New Delhi, November 1, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/Files

May 13, 2020

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – 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.

(Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Sanjeev Miglai)

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