Principal Economic Adviser Sanjeev Sanyal Explains The Thought Process Behind India’s Covid-19 Response Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal

Noted economist and author Sanjeev Sanyal who serves as the Principal Economic Adviser in the Finance Ministry today (27 March) explained the approach of the Indian establishment towards tacking the coronavirus pandemic.

In a series of tweets Sanyal said that India has decided to favour a step by step approach as opposed to going big bang.

The first step was securing the Indian population from the pandemic - which resulted in the 21 day lockdown. Sanyal contends that all other aspects will become moot of India loses control over the pandemic.

With the financial year end fast approaching, the next step he said was to address the key deadlines, which resulted in a rescheduling by the Finance Ministry. Deadlines pertaining to aspects like Income Tax, GST, excise and IPC were postponed.

The third step was ensuring that the poor do not lack the basic necessities like food, cooking fuel and liquid cash. The Finance Ministry announced the Rs 1.7 crore Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to address this point.

Sanyal adds that the next step was to ensure liquidity in the market and as a result RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das today sharply cut lending rates and cash reserve ratio. This is expected to pump in an additional Rs 3.74 lakh crore into the system.

The RBI also announced that all banks are allowed to provide a three month moratorium on interest payment and credit card dues.

Sanyal says that all these measures are based on “constantly monitoring an evolving situation while responding firmly and systematically”.

“As RBI Governor and Finance Minister made clear, we will do whatever it takes”, said Sanyal.

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