Most sectors will open by May 3: Sanjeev Sanyal
- The process of “unwinding” the lockdown imposed to contain COVID-19 has already begun, and most sectors of the economy will be open by May 3. International passenger travel, however, would be locked down for a long time.
- The government also expected to dole out support in incremental doses, rather than spend all its resources in one go.
- Other countries announced huge stimulus packages even before announcing shutdown measures to prevent the spread of the infection.
- However, most of these countries “wasted” their money on a “big bang” and felt the Indian approach of first announcing the lockdown, and then taking “calibrated” measures to protect and revive the economy was more effective in the long run.
- The steps announced by the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India so far were only meant to “cushion the blow” so that the economy stays alive to the other side of the lockdown, so that limited resources could be saved for the rebuilding phase.
Larger package soon
- Our first few efforts are to make sure people have enough working capital to keep themselves alive through this shock. A larger package was in the works and would be announced sooner rather than later.
- Government is just cushioning the hit, so that everyone has some money and some food, Centre’s initial ₹1.7 lakh crore welfare package was insufficient to deal with large-scale distress is still to be addressed.
‘Opportunity to rebuild’
- India would use the opportunity to implement “large-scale reforms” in the economy.
- Geopolitical realities, supply chain structures and the use of technology would all have changed.
India should see it as an opportunity not just to rebuild ourselves, but also participate in the rebuilding of this new world.