The United Nations Social and Economic Commission for Asia and Pacific has praised the steps taken by India in the wake of the corona virus. UNESCAP released the Economic and Social Survey of the year 2020 for the Asian-Pacific region. It said that the region’s economic slowdown cannot be ruled out in the current financial year due to the corona virus. The institution, in a presentation presented on Wednesday, did not release any estimate about the economic growth rate, but said that the economy may see a steep decline. However, in the written report prepared according to the position on March 10, India’s growth rate has been projected to decline from five percent in 2019-20 to 4.8 percent in the current financial year and improve to 5.1 percent in the next financial year.
India’s policy is still in the right direction
On this occasion, Shweta Saxena, head of UNESCAP department of Large Policy and
Development Financing said in response to a question, “India’s policy is going in the right direction so far. Lockdown has been done across the country”. In view of the present situation, the government has made provisions for an amount equal to one percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). Recently, the Reserve Bank has also announced some policy measures.
The situation will change completely after Corona
Hamza Ali Malik, director of the department, said that governments need to take large-scale and targeted measures. The fixed income of the poor should be ensured. The government should also invest in health. He said, “In view of ‘Covid-19’, priority needs to be given to the heath sector than to bring the economy back on track. Government needs to invest in health emergency mechanisms”. He said that the situation has changed completely since Corona started spreading in India and is changing every day. So UNESCAP has not released any development projections about any country.
Coronavirus bigger than 2008-09 economic downturn
In response to a question, Malik said that the impact of Covid-19 will be huge. The country has never faced this kind of problem before. This will have a major impact on the economy. It can be bigger than the economic downturn of 2008-09. Poor and marginalised people will be most affected by it. They need our support. He said that central banks should take measures to increase liquidity in the economy, and they are doing so as well. At this time people’s lives should be the priority. Once the epidemic is overcome, then we can think of ways to increase investment.
These are unprecedented crisis and hence measures to deal with this will also be unprecedented. He said that this is also an opportunity for us. We should formulate our policies in a way that leads to sustainable development. The world after Corona will not be the same. Saxena said that due to Covid-19, the sustainable development goals will gain momentum. There will be a spurt in the achievement of the goals of health infrastructure, sanitation and environment.