A national budget for the pandemic era – 25 quotes from India’s COVID-19 struggle

In this compilation, we present thought-provoking quotes from the week of February 1-7 that frame India’s battle with the coronavirus pandemic.
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Launched in 2014, StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week. This special series of compilations focuses on India’s COVID-19 struggle (see last week’s post here). Share these quotes and excerpts with your networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

With the pandemic weakening and the vaccination drive on full steam, it surely seems that India can and will exceed growth expectations this year. - Gaurav Hirey, GoEvals Solutions

Where access to the vaccine is available, we would also need to ensure that existing stigma attached to the marginalised communities do not come in the way of effective vaccine roll-out. - Angela Chaudhuri, Swasti

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on immunity, prevention, and health. India’s fast-growing Ayurveda sector holds the potential to make the country a wellness hub. - Vishal Kaushik, Upakarma Ayurveda

There is enough room for all organised players without hurting each other. This is more true now, as consumers are willing to switch to packaged dairy products due to hygiene and safety concerns. - Kishan Modi, Milk Magic

The healthcare ministry’s allocation of total spending is largely the same, if not lower. Capital expenditure is still budgeted to be only in 3-5 percent of the overall healthcare budget. - Atanuu Agarrwal, Upside AI

Health spending has increased by 137 percent this year with Rs 35,000 crore earmarked for COVID-19. This is a welcome attitudinal change by the government. - TV Mohandas Pai & Nisha Holla

Post the huge COVID-19 hit the economy has taken in the last year, the government spending is projected to be at one of the highest levels as compared to the recent past. - Kunal Varma, MoneyTap

Last year, tens of thousands of daily wagers and migrant workers suddenly found themselves isolated, without jobs, and caught in a dark, uncertain future. There was an absolute need for social protection. - Ramita Rathod, 'Lost in Transaction'

There is little focus on MSMEs that are financially crippled and need immediate financial relief. - Akash Gehani, Instamojo

MSMEs have borne the brunt of COVID-linked disruptions, and more may have to be done outside of the Budget announcements to revive that key engine of India's economy. - Alok Mittal, Indifi Technologies

The Budget has failed to cheer up the restaurant industry, which is one of the most affected due to COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. - Shivanand Shetty, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association

There is no specific relief or proposals to boost the hospitality, travel, and tourism sector immediately in the Budget, which could have been a boost for the sector's revival. - Sanjyot Keer, Your Food Lab

While expecting a tax-relief in a COVID-19 year is a bit far-fetched, just keeping the rates unchanged is good news. - Hareesh Tibrewala, Mirum India

Significantly, there is no change to the personal tax slabs this year, no new wealth tax was announced, no COVID-19 cess and no changes to long-term capital gain tax rates. - Sapna Arora, OLX India

Tier-II and III cities have seen significant growth in demand for air travel and first-time flyers post relaxation of lockdown norms. - Aloke Bajpai, ixigo

While gaming and gamification within products always existed, COVID-19 has acted as an accelerant. - Rajinder Balaraman, Matrix Partners India

The Indian Film Industry has been hit badly due to the pandemic and survival has become challenging for the entertainment industry. - Puneet Singh, Clapstem Entertainment

OTT platforms have definitely been a huge saviour for Bollywood in this critical period when theatres were shut. - Deepshikha Deshmukh, 'Bellbottom'

In 2020, consumers relied more on their personal devices to connect, play, and escape. - App Annie

Lockdown is for the people, not for creativity and imagination. - Kayal Vizhi, Chitra Santhe

The pandemic has officially changed the way people meet and know each other. The online matrimony business got technology’s back and isn’t letting a pandemic ruin people’s wedding plans in 2021. - Salman Sarwer, Corporate Marriage Bureau

The global manufacturing industry has had to swiftly adjust to the new normal, and digital solutions have become essential. - Amrit Acharya, Zetwerk

COVID-19 triggered the need for a digital presence now more than ever. - Richa Bajpai, Campus Fund

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Edited by Megha Reddy

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