Industry captains have welcomed the government’s decision to extend the lockdown till May 17 allowing selected economic activities in all zones.
“We appreciate PM Narendra Modi’s decision to exit the nationwide lockdown in a graded manner by giving equal importance to the lives and livlihood of Indian citizens. This will go a longway in uplifting the sentiments of the stricken Indian industry, helping the daily wagers, poor and the needy earn their livelihood and also revive India’s economic growth trajectory, said D.K. Aggarwal, president — PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The chamber, however, urged the government to provide an increased stimulus relief package of ₹16 lakh crore, which is around 7% of GDP, sooner than later to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
“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,” Sajjan Jindal, chairman of JSW Group, said in a tweet.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), while welcoming the decision to extend the lockdown, has asked for a revival package.
“The guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs extending the lockdown in the country for 2 weeks is well considered in the light of the current situation of the COVID-19 incidence. The relaxation to many industrial activities including industrial establishments in urban areas such as Special Economic Zones, industrial estates and industrial townships with access control within the Red Zone with restrictions, is absolutely in line with what CII had been asking for and we especially welcome it. The government has also permitted private offices to operate at one-third strength which will enable many services sector organisations to open,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
“With restricted economic activities, the imperative for a quick and forceful economic support package for industry is even more compelling now. CII has suggested instituting a government spending package equivalent to 3% of GDP, which would add ₹6 lakh crore to the available firepower. Enhanced debt to GDP ratio can be a way out for adding fiscal space at a time when the debt to GDP ratio is modest in India,” Mr. Banerjee said.