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India's Modi declares $265bn in economic relief to fight pandemic

Push for self-reliance and local products draws cheers from business groups

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an economic package worth almost 10% of the nation's gross domestic product.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled an economic package Tuesday night worth 20 trillion rupees ($265 billion) to help the country's smaller businesses, laborers, farmers and middle-income earners overcome the crisis posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is almost 10% of the country's GDP," Modi said in a nationally televised address.

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