Recent trends in economic recovery show that the centre has been taking all possible measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis, Finance Ministry sources have said. Media reports had claimed the government lacks consensus at the highest levels while pushing fiscal stimulus and packages.
The swift steps taken by the government and recent trends of economic recovery – increase in goods and services tax (GST) collection, better PMI (purchasing manager index) and exports – dispel the myth of tight fists and any lack of consensus, said the sources, who asked not to be named.
“The government is aware of the ramifications of COVID-19 pandemic and that is the reason why the Ministry of Finance has been proactively and continuously taking measures to provide support to those who need it the most in a holistic manner and those measures are yielding results,” said the source.
“While reading the report card of the government’s comprehensive measures against the challenges of COVID-19, one must acknowledge the swiftness with which the government formulated and implemented two major stimulus packages – Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) on March 26 and Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Package on May 12, a special economic and comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crore, equivalent to 10 per cent of India’s GDP,” the source said.
All these money and assistance have gone through direct benefit transfer (DBT) into the bank accounts and in the hands of people, without any middlemen and any delay, the sources said.
“Yet, critics say the government has not taken enough demand side measures by putting cash in the hands of people. Is this not putting cash in hands of people at the time of distress? If it is not, then what it is? Even Bill Gates recently appreciated the way India used its DBT delivery mechanism to reach and help people directly at the time of this crisis,” said the source.
India added 81,484 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, taking its tally near the 64 lakh-mark, government data showed this morning. A total of 1,095 deaths linked to the virus were reported in the same period, the data showed. The country now has 63,94,068 cases. Of this, 9.4 lakh are active cases.