Domestic financial markets remained shut on Tueasday, April 14, for Ambedkar Jayanti as India enters the last day of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus. Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated on April 14 every year to mark the birth anniversary of Bhimrao Ambedkar, who is known as the Father of Indian Constitution and the force behind the Dalit Buddhist Movement in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be addressing the nation at 10 am and he is widely expected to announce extension of the lockdown for 2 weeks, against the backdrop of a surge in covid-19 cases in the country. The total number of coronavirus cases in India has crossed 10,000, with death of more than 300 people. Mr Modi is also likely to unveil measures to partially open up some parts of the economy to offset the economic damage of the lockdown, in a calibrated lockdown exit strategy of sorts.
In a video-conference with state chief ministers on Saturday, the Prime Minister had signalled a shift in India’s strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with a focus on both ‘jaan’ (life) and ‘jahaan’ (livelihood).
Domestic stock markets fell on Monday, dragged down by financial stocks; the S&P BSE Sensex slid 1.51 per cent to 30,690 and NSE Nifty 50 index closed 1.3 per cent lower at 8,993.
The markets will resume trading on Wednesday.