April 2020 \ Editor's Desk \ Editor’s Desk
Editor’s Desk

By mid-April, as India entered its fourth week of a protracted ...

By Sayantan Chakravarty

CII as well other leading industry bodies like FICCI, ASSOCHAM, PHD Chamber and FIEO have urged the Indian Government to immediately institute a stimulus package with figures varying from INR 9-11 lakh crore. CII has recommended that the Government should not spend all its firepower at once but instead focus on safeguarding macro fundamentals to ensure that the country does not suffer rating downgrades, and, therefore, potential flight of capital. FICCI has said that interest-free and collateral-free loans should be given to MSME companies for a period of 12 months to enable them cover fixed costs, salaries and operational expenses. The loan can be given with preconditions that businesses will continue to run and there would be no layoffs. ASSOCHAM said it would be critical to ensure that the nation proceeds with three objectives that include immediate assistance to employees and labor through direct transfers, ensuring that companies have enough cash flow to survive the downturn, and finally stimulating demand and investment to revive the economy through fiscal and tax measures. On its part, the PHD Chamber has said that a stimulus of five percent of GDP would help the economy grow at five percent in the financial year 2020-2021. FIEO has urged the Government to immediately provide INR 30,000 crore worth of interest-free working capital term loan to exporting companies to ease their working capital liquidity issues and prevent largescale unemployment that could follow post-lockdown, especially in labor intensive sectors.

All eyes were on the RBI that announced some COVID-19 booster shots to revive the economy. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das came up with a raft of new liquidity and regulatory measures in mid-April. He said that easing of inflationary pressure on the economy and the outlook that it is on a declining trajectory and could fall further “make policy space available to address the intensification of risks to growth and financial stability brought on by COVID-19.”

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