As India enters a 21-day complete lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic here, it’s clear that the country is headed into tough economic times. In his speech yesterday Prime Minister Narendra Modi alluded to this and frankly admitted that we will have to accept a substantial economic cost if we are to halt the Covid-19 outbreak. Under the circumstances, the poorest sections of society will be the worst hit. Efforts need to be directed to ameliorate their suffering.
Plus, there is an urgent need for an economic package to cushion the blow of the lockdown. Almost all economic sectors are taking a massive hit with job losses mounting. True, the immediate task is to save lives by strictly imposing the lockdown and flattening the COVID-19 infection curve. But government also can’t delay providing an economic safety net to keep businesses and services afloat. Otherwise, we may be able to flatten the curv