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CA. B. Subramanyam
Lockdown-1, 2, 3 and now we are in lockdown 4. How many more need to face to bring back our country in normalcy. Well, slowly we have started our works under the lock down circumstances with stiff conditions imposed by the Governments in respective states giving utmost importance to the safety of the people.
Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman uveiled a 20 Lakh crore fiscal stimulus. The government’s package aims primarily at encouraging banks to begin lending to small enterprises, NBFCs, housing finance companies among others. It represents an excellent start. The lockdown occasioned by Covid-19 has singed every segment of the economy. A shock of this scale can be offset only if there is a sovereign backstop to monetary measures. That is precisely what the Government has done by using a conventional channel of credit guarantees of loans and investment made by banks. The efficacy of the package in unlocking credit depends on the detailing of the guarantee and liquidity schemes. It is important now for Government and RBI to ensure there are no last mile hitches. What is praiseworthy is the emphasis on MSMEs and second tier financial intermediaries. They are interconnected through credit channels and a package which supports both holds most potential.
Vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, or self reliant India, promising a “quantum jump” in the economy premised on big reforms which implicitly go beyond the incremental ones seen so far. While the monetary and fiscal packages are meant to mitigate the immediate hardship, the global pivot away from China is an unexpected opportunity to reboot India’s stagnating economy. Unless the vision outlined by the Government is backed by a concrete plan of action, this chance may slip away. Even as the government unveils more tranche of fiscal package, it must focus on long term reforms which encompass the factor markets as well as India’s antiquated legal architecture. That will be the real game changer.