NEW DELHI: Analysts say that impact of Coronavirus on Indian economy could be as much as Rs 9 lakh crore (USD 120 billion) or 4 per cent of the GDP.
“We estimate that the cumulative shutdown cost around USD120 billion or 4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP),” British brokerage Barclays said in a note. But the government may come up with an economic package to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from causing major harm to the economy. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said as a first step they were addressing the compliance related issues and an economic package covering issues of concern to the industry would be announced separately later.
“The economic package is going to be announced soon,” Sitharaman said while announcing a set of compliance related issues including extension of dates for filing IT and GST returns.
The Indian economy that had already slowed down before the outbreak of coronavirus, is in for a more difficult period in the coming months with businesses almost coming to a standstill. The finance ministry and the RBI have taken several steps to ensure that liquidity in the system remains intact. But Industry has called for more stimulus measures to fight depression like conditions setting in the economy.
Yesterday, Sitharaman announced several important relief measures taken by the Government of India in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, especially on statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to several sectors. While addressing the press conference, Sitharaman announced the much-needed relief measures in areas of Income Tax, GST, Customs & Central Excise, Corporate Affairs, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) Fisheries, Banking Sector and Commerce.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared a 21-day-long complete lock-down for the entire country till April 14 to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The lock-down will come into effect from 12am tonight. In his second address on the unprecedented menace, the Prime Minister said that all people should obey the government’s instruction for their own safety. Otherwise, the country will move backwards by 21 years, he warned. Citing the crises currently faced by Italy and the USA due to the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus Modi said, “I appeal to all our citizens with folded hands not to come out from their homes as the situation is very very alarming. We will fight against the pandemic and win against it. But for that your co-operation is necessary. We must break the virus chain.”