Coronavirus pandemic to leave behind a global recession: Anand Mahindra
The coronavirus pandemic will leave behind a global recession with small businesses, self-employed and daily wagers taking the worst hit, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said on Thursday.
"The virus will eventually be conquered, but it will have left behind a global recession. The costs of that are incalculably high at this time. The most fearsome toll will be on small businesses, the self-employed, and those whose lives depend on meagre daily wages," Mahindra said in a tweet.
Apart from the toll on lives, the legacy of Covid-19 may well be deaths due to stress, loss of livelihoods, a rise in homelessness, and in extreme situations, civil unrest, he added.
"The only global experience that has lessons for us in the current situation is the last world war. In the aftermath of WW-II, the US came up with the Marshall plan to revive Europe, effectively a giant fiscal pump-priming," Mahindra said.
In the US, the government dramatically dismantled regulations and opened up the economy to trade and these actions led to a boom-cycle that stretched to 1975, he added.
"This time, there will be no victors, only the vanquished. So every country will have to create its own Post VirusWar Marshall plan and take care of those in society who are hit the hardest. Perhaps we too can build the foundations of a sustained global growth cycle," Mahindra said.
In a televised broadcast on thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to all Indians to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid getting infected by the coronavirus.
Also, in this regard, the government is working on a financial package for various sectors, including civil aviation and tourism, to deal with the fall-out of the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted the economy.
Modi even announced setting up of a task force under Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman which will take necessary actions "in the near future" after analysing the coronavirus pandemic situation.
According to government sources, Sitharaman will hold a meeting with MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Friday to assess the situation in order to work out a package.
The government is assessing the situation on a daily basis as there has been a significant impact on the economy, the sources said.
The Ministry of Finance has already held a series of meetings with various ministries and departments, they added.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Megha Reddy)