While the coronavirus spread and the lockdown have paralysed the Indian financial system, industrialist Sajjan Jindal worries that the economy may fall into a slumber. "We need to rise now to ensure that the economy does not fall into a slumber that will take huge efforts to awaken," said the chairman of JSW Group.
The lockdown has had a positive effect in containing the virus, however, it's imperative to also move focus on economic well being, he said. "The virus while controlled will be a threat till we find a vaccine," he added.
The JSW group companies - JSW Steel, JSW Paints and JSW Techno Projects Management - have opted for moratorium on loan servicing. The flagship business JSW Steel has a debt of Rs 50,000 crore. His younger brother Naveen Jindal's Jindal Steel and Power and Jindal Power have also opted for the moratorium, which RBI allowed for the term loan installments between March and May.
JSW Steel's major productions at Vijayanagar (Karnataka) and Dolvi (Maharashtra) have been affected because of lockdown. The steelmaker's Rs 19,700 crore acquisition of Bhushan Power is also expected to be affected by the pandemic impact on the economy and steel market. It was supposed to make payment before March 16 for the acquisition, but it has been delayed as the former promoter filed a petition against the takeover at the Supreme Court.
To revive the economy in the shortest period of time, Sajjan Jindal suggested finding ways to work within the 'new normal'. "A depression in the economy is also a threat to this nation," he added.