New Delhi: The countrywide lockdown in India has been very effective but now is the time to ease it up to save livelihoods and revive the economy, says Dr Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO of USISPF (US- India Strategic Partnership Forum).

Speaking to senior journalist Smita Sharma from New York, Dr Aghi criticised the Trump administration’s lockdown implementation which has now caused more deaths by coronavirus than the Vietnam War in America.However, he underlined that as global economies shrink sharply, India will have to step up in providing a big fiscal stimulus and give a needed financial push like the Americans are doing.

“Every life is important but numbers are not that high compared to 1.3 billion people we have in the country. More important is that now is the time to start looking at how do you provide livelihood? Our experience of the US is that last quarter of the colony collapsed, contracted by 4.8 per cent while the stimulus package has been trillions of dollars. When you look at the stimulus package in India it is a much lower number. While it is calibrated to try and slowly ease the economy it will be critical that a stimulus package is announced which builds the confidence of the citizens, business community but more important focus on MSMEs and small retail shop keepers. If they start sinking, it will be hard to revive the economy in the next 6-12 months,” said Dr.Aghi.

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