Sajjan Jindal, Chairman of JSW Group has said that even as the lockdown has had a positive impact in containing the virus, the focus should now be on the economy. He said that an economic depression is also a threat to the nation. Jindal says that India must find a way to work within the "new normal".
"The lockdown has had a positive effect in containing the virus. But it's imperative to also move focus on economic well being. We need to rise now to ensure that the economy does not fall into a slumber that will take huge efforts to awaken. The virus, while controlled, will be a threat till we find a vaccine. However, we need to find ways to work within a 'new normal' to bring this economy back to capacity in the shortest period of time. A depression in the economy is also a threat to this nation," he said.
Jindal's statement comes as the country's FY21 GDP growth is pegged by several rating agencies to drop to between 0.8 per cent to around 1.9 per cent. Fitch Ratings projected India's growth to drop to 0.8 per cent, while India Ratings and CARE Ratings peg it at 1.9 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.
After more than a month's lockdown, India is heading towards the end of the lockdown scheduled to be lifted on May 3. In a video conference with chief ministers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked states to draw an exit plan. He reiterated that the danger is far from over and asked the states to be vigilant.
While applauding the states for their efforts to contain coronavirus, the Prime Minister said that importance must be given to the economy as well. He advocated the use of technology to overcome challenges. Some states voted for an extension while many said that the restrictions in red zones must be maintained for some more time.