Presenting the Economic Survey of India, CEA KV Subramanian said that India's policy response to deal with COVID-19 pandemic was a mature and farsighted one. He said that the imposition of a stringent lockdown in the country saved lakhs of lives and helped faster recovery of the economy. The imposition of intense lockdown early on helped India avoid 37.1 lakh cases and over 1 lakh deaths, he added.
"Stringency of COVID-19 lockdown correlates with negative economic growth in same period but with positive growth in future time period," said Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Subramanian.
He said that India undertook short term pain to get long term gain, adding that the 'V-shaped recovery' makes India a sui generis case in mature policy making.
"During high uncertainty, policy should minimise large losses. India's policy response to COVID-19 was guided by the realisation that the GDP growth will come back, but not lost human lives. Early intense lockdown saved lives, helped faster recovery," the CEA said.
He said that strong correlation of lockdown with decline in cases and deaths is found across states, not just within a few states. Hence, Economic Survey infers that lockdown had a causal effect on saving lives and livelihoods.
Even without lockdown, COVID-19 pandemic would have created a significant economic impact. But what the lockdown did ensure is help a coordinated response, enabling 'saving lives and livelihoods', he added.
By Chitranjan Kumar