India Inc makes a blocking extension call; seeks stimulus package to rebuild economy

NEW DELHI: India Inc said Tuesday that the extension of the national blockade was necessary to prevent a humanitarian crisis, but insisted on the need for a stimulus package to rebuild the economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the current blockade will run until May 3, saying it is necessary to contain the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

He said detailed guidelines on the implementation of the new shutdown will be announced Wednesday, and that some relaxations will be allowed after April 20 in places where there are no hot spots.

The catastrophic effect of the closure on the general economy and the livelihoods of thousands of migrant workers triggered serious concerns, after which several top state ministers in their video conference with Modi on Saturday sought some kind of relaxation for various sectors.

Late last month, the government announced a package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore intended to provide relief to those affected by the blockade, as well as insurance coverage for health professionals who handle people infected with the virus.

Estimates show that India may be losing close to Rs 40,000 crore a day due to the national closure with an estimated loss of Rs 7-8 lakh crore over the past 21 days, Ficci President Sangita Reddy said.

In addition, nearly 40 million jobs are also expected to be at risk during the April-September 2020 period. Therefore, an urgent aid package is also critical, he said.

Reddy also noted that the Prime Minister's instructions on gradual opening will help initiate some production activities to ensure that, as soon as the closure opens, there is no shortage.

IIC Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said that the trajectory of the Covid-19 curve from now on required an adequate containment response and that the Prime Minister's decision to continue the blockade is necessary to avoid a larger humanitarian crisis .

The Prime Minister has also provided guidance on how to exit the blockade after April 20, helping the industry to plan better.

The extension gives the government adequate preparation time to organize an orderly and safe restart of the economy when health conditions allow. The industry can also devise its strategies to start operations accordingly during this extension period, Banerjee said.

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Assocham general secretary Deepak Sood said the situation is quite difficult, but somehow the industry is managing to stay afloat and pay wages and other essential outlays in the supply chain.

However, the situation may become unsustainable in the coming weeks, making it extremely important for the government to announce a considerable and effective package for the economy, he said.

According to PHD House Speaker DK Aggarwal, a significant boost of 7 percent of GDP would help the economy grow around 5 percent in the current financial year 2020-21, rejuvenate businesses, and replenish the growth trajectory. economic of the country.

IT industry body Nasscom said the government extension announcement will help India build on the containment strategy of the past three weeks and strengthen our readiness to support the post-closure phase.

We are also pleased to note the easing of restrictions on green areas and we hope that the government will also announce economic stimulus packages soon so that we can begin to focus on rebuilding the economy. Saving lives and livelihoods has to go hand in hand. additional.

Ratul Puri, president of Hindustan Power, said that although blocking and social distancing are the only two remedies to combat the pandemic, there is a widespread impact on companies and the economy in general.

The extension of the lock is a well-thought-out and much-needed plan following the threats posed by Covid-19. The prime minister's decision to monitor the effectiveness of the implementation and then gradually offer relaxation after April 20 should be welcomed, Naveen Jindal said. , President, Jindal Steel&powerlimited.