The COVID-19 pandemic, which came as a bolt from the blue, is hitting economies around the world very hard. And India hasn’t been an exception to this crisis, with the Indian economy likely to witness a contraction this year.
The lockdown in India, though necessary from a health perspective, has led to deep distress in the economy. An immediate substantive stimulus is required from the Government in the form of support to the poor and support to industry especially the MSMEs.
The pandemic itself is expected to be with us till the time a cure or a vaccine is found, which may be 12-18 months away. The recovery process is also expected to take around 2 years, at the least. Therefore, the fiscal stimulus is needed immediately.
This paper captures CII’s recommendations on the Government support required to kickstart the economy to save livelihoods and eventually lives. It builds on the suggestions made in an earlier CII paper, Towards an Organised, Safe and Sustainable Restart of the Economy, released on 7 April 2020. Since then the economic distress has deepened affecting livelihoods which would linger for the next year or two.