If crisis persists, Indians may be pushed to the brink, says former RBI Governor

Updated: Apr 27, 2020, 07:52 IST | Agencies | Hyderabad

Former RBI Guv Subbarao says the nation can expect a V-curved recovery once the pandemic ends

An elderly woman wearing a mask waits for her turn to collect food, distributed by RPF personnel outside Howrah station, in Kolkata on Sunday. Pic/PTI
An elderly woman wearing a mask waits for her turn to collect food, distributed by RPF personnel outside Howrah station, in Kolkata on Sunday. Pic/PTI

A prolonged lockdown may possibly push millions of Indians into the "margins of subsistence", former RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said on Sunday while expecting a 'V' curved recovery once the COVID-19 crisis ends and the turnaround in India to be faster than some economies.

He was participating in a webinar on 'History repeats but differently – Lessons for the post Corona World', organised by the Manthan Foundation, in which former deputy governor of RBI, Usha Thorat took part.

"Because most analysts believe that this year India will actually have negative growth or growth will contract. We must remember that even ahead of the crisis two months ago our growth slowed. Now it has completely stopped. Last year growth was five per cent. Just imagine, five per cent growth last year and we are going to negative or zero growth this year, a decline of five per cent growth," he said. "It is true that India is going to perform in this crisis better than most other countries. But that is no consolation.... Because we are a very poor country and if the crisis persists and if the lockdown is not lifted soon enough, it is quite possible that millions of people will be pushed into the margins of subsistence, he said when asked about his views on the present situation.

Subbarao said that as predicted by analysts, India will have a V shaped recovery which is far better than most of the other countries. "And why do we expect a 'V' shaped recovery? Because unlike in a cyclone or in an earthquake, this is not a natural disaster constraint. No capital has been destroyed. Factories are standing. Our shops are still standing. Our people are ready to work as soon as the lockdown is lifted. So it is quite possible the recovery will be V shaped and while we have a V shaped recovery, I think India has a better chance than most of the countries," he opined.

According to him, India's recovery was faster than many other countries after the 2008 global financial crisis. On IMF's prediction that India may grow at 1.9 per cent during the current year against about five per cent in the last fiscal, Subbarao said many analysts feel that the
prediction is outdated and the growth in GDP may slip into negative. Agencies

Total no. of deaths due to the virus in India

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