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“BE LOCAL FOR VOCAL” a new sloganeering as usual came out with a long Introductory preface to COVID-19 & Society and the subsequent speech may one figure out as a classroom lecture on Economy, though not surprising.
This was his fifth address to the nation following the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic.
“The address which trigger imaginations came after the 6 hrs long meeting with the chief minister of different states.”
A special economic package of rupees 20 lakh crore ( around $ 266 billion). estimated to 10% of India’s GDP is announced and is almost equal to Rs 15,000 per Indian)
The package supposedly will help the India to become “Atma-Nirbhar”(self-reliant) in the times to come, and will be detailed out by Finance minister starting from 13th may.
Manufacturing of 2 lakhs personal protective kits and masks were counted upon being an opportunity in crises, “Aapda ko avsar me badla” as what PM Modi believes.
PM further adds, India need quantum jump in the economic development and not incremental changes.
To sum up:
- Economic package of 20L Cr which will aim at self-reliant India.
- 5 pillars of self-reliance – Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography and Demand.
- Indians have to be “Vocal about Local”.
- Lockdown 4.0 will be announced before May 18.
He also hints on a new lockdown with fresh guidelines based on the input given by the chief ministers of different states.
The address while appears an academic in kind and the strategy over expenditure is yet to be pronounced by finance minister brought with it a ray of hope to crores of lockdown hit people.
The other side of the story
To the dark side, PM Modi appeared almost ignorant to the hundreds of tragic deaths and helplessness of lacs of poor migrants.
Congress though awaiting the finance minister’s thesis on package allocation yet repeated it’s stand on migrants condition
Former Finance Minister in Congress government tweets:
Lockdown brought in a loss of crores of jobs, pay cuts and serious dent on trade, commerce, small business and even the worst hit unorganized sector among others yet to this day PM Modi spoke nothing of waivers such as electricity bills, EMIs and house rent to financially deprived to name a few.
Modi also passed the buck to state government despite the decision been taken only by his government that too on short notice of 4 hours.
Though the economic package of the scale is obvious to be cheered up by Industrial bodies yet it should be pointed out that it’s only an interplay of numbers.
The Math of the Numbers
A large part of it as much as 40% is already been injected into the system by RBI through various measures and as much as 1.07 lakh Crores which was announced by Nirmala Sitharaman on 27th March if added to this make around 10 Lakh Crores of the total fiscal package, Indian Express reports.
As a percentage of GDP, India’s announced spending on COVID-19 until now has been low, at less than one cent, a fact raised by Nobel Prize winning economist Abhijit Banerjee, The Week reports.
Based on the Statistics under COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Index; which introduces a large database where we quantified the economic policies adopted by national governments throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic is reflected, Modi’s relief package is 5th largest among G20 countries.
In absolute terms, India proposed a package of $256 Billion whereas US on it’s 33 Crore Population pronounced a massive $ 2.7 trillion in three phases, Japan $1.1 trillion for 12.65 Crore, Germany $815 billion for 8.3 Crore, UK around $100 with 6.6 Crores of it’s People.
“This implies while US planned to spend around $8100 per capita whereas India is doing it with $ 197”
See through the glasses of the poor
The immediate response to the speech of PM Modi raises also the questions over the gloomy picture of numbers