Reportedly there is speculation that novel coronavirus may bring down India's GDP growth rate by one percentage point during 2020-21. india is already fearing a sub-five per cent GDP growth rate in 2019-20. Unemployment rate is likely to breach all previous records due to lockdowns in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak. Temporary events such as demonetisation and single-phase rollout of GST (goods and services tax) have in recent past seen sudden but lasting impact on indian businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises which have a huge share in employment generation.
The lockdowns are bound to throw thousands out of jobs. This will further impact consumption and prolong already extended economic downturn. Like coronavirus spread, the downward spiral wave of economic slowdown also needs to be broken. This can happen with governmnet intervention. Thankfully, the government is likely to earn more money and save dollar on crude oil import due to sharp fall in prices. This money can be used to fund India's economic revival. Former Union Finance minister P chidambaram, while expressing solidarity with the modi government in fight against Covid-19, appealed for an economic stimulus. Social medial influencers too have been tagging PM modi and Union Finance minister nirmala sitharaman with their demands for economic boosters.
Till now, the government has been looking at greater involvement of private players but the coronavirus situation may require a meatier intervention by the government. And, india will not be a solitary example of overspending by the government. germany has announced an 822 billion euro stimulus package to cope with coronavirus impact on its economy. It is taking 150 billion euro as fresh debt to reboot its economy. The UK has rolled out a $384 billion rescue package. It is time india took this call sooner than later. A universal basic income could be just a starting point for the modi government. At least four MPs, including three from the bjp, have recently emphasised bringing a law to ensure money for jobless in India.