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COVID-19 and the Indian Economy: Impact and Response

Niranjan Sahoo (Author) Mukunda Chandra Sahoo (Author)

With strong macroeconomic fundamentals, the Indian economy was well-placed on trajectory of high growth rate in early 2020 when the outbreak of coronavirus epidemic in China was reported. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the epidemic as a pandemic, plunging the world into an unprecedented medical crisis. When countrywide lockdown was announced from March 25, 2020, most of the economic activities came to a grinding halt in urban areas. However, rural India continued to be normal in view of the exemption from restrictions allowed to farmers to conduct farming operations, including harvesting and transporting their produce to grain markets with the general conditions of face covering, hand hygiene, and social distancing. These exemptions helped to maintain continuity in supply chain, especially in view of harvesting and sowing season. To deal with the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of 'COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force' under the Union Finance Minister. Similarly, PM CARES Fund was created to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation. On May 12, 2020, the Prime Minister announced Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-reliant India Initiative) which combined relief, policy reforms, and fiscal and monetary measures to help businesses and individuals to cope with the situation created by COVID-19 pandemic. A mega package of 20 lakh crore (10 percent of GDP) was announced for the purpose. India has several strengths that can help mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-induced slowdown. The agricultural sector is vibrant, inflation is under control, foreign exchange reserves (more than US$ 500 billion) are at record level, international crude oil prices are low, and a robust social security net is in place. There is, therefore, a silver lining for India to bounce back and a strong case for fast-tracking the pending reforms.

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About the author

Niranjan Sahoo

Niranjan Sahoo is currently a Fellow at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi. A Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hyderabad, he has more than seven years of work experience in dealing with diverse governance issues. Before joining ORF, he has a short stint at the Bhubaneswar-based Centre for Youth and Social Development, a leading NGO dealing with issues related to decentralization and local self-governance. At ORF, he has extensively dealt with the political economy, the power sector, affirmative actions and public service delivery. The Author would like to acknowledge the critical contribution made by several people to complete this monograph, particularly Shakti Sinha, former Visiting fellow at ORF, for providing key conceptual guidance and critical comments on the final draft, D.V Kapoor, former Chairman, NTPC, P. Abraham, former Power Secretary, GOI, Sunjay Joshi, Senior fellow, ORF, for their very insightful comments on the final draft, Lydia Powell for all her help leading to publication of the report and Ashok Mohan Sahay for doing the vital job of editing the manuscript.

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Bibliographic information

Title COVID-19 and the Indian Economy: Impact and Response
Format Hardcover
Date published: 20.11.2020
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8177085174, 9788177085174
length xiii+176p., 23cm.