The Great Lockdown has taken the global economy to the brink of its deepest recession since World War II. As India copes with its own, largest lockdown in human history, the cost to our economy continues to mount even as the Coronavirus curve is surely being flattened and its peak pushed out. With each passing day, the cost of an eventual recovery and the revival of businesses is rising, while urgent action and funding are needed to protect the most vulnerable whose livelihoods and lives have been deeply impacted. The choice of an exit strategy in the face of much epidemiological uncertainty will be critical to sustained success in curbing the virus and promoting a strong economic recovery.
How deep and broad will the hit to activity be around the world and in India? Can the recovery be as strong on the other side of the pandemic? Is the policy response around the world sufficient? What are the implications for India? What will this do to our economy, industry, banking sector and households? How should we think about the policy response? What should we be doing on the economy during the second lockdown to prepare us for a safe, sensible and clear exit strategy that will allow us to rebuild rapidly? Is there a silver lining to the cloud?
To discuss these questions, NCAER brought together four leading industry India Chief Economists in its NCAER Coronavirus Briefings webinar series—Sajjid Chinoy at J.P. Morgan, Sonal Varma at Nomura Holdings, Santanu Sengupta at Reliance Industries, and Abheek Barua at HDFC. The remarks and insights of these market-focused experts were followed by a discussion moderated by NCAER Director General Shekhar Shah during which the panelists also responded to write-in questions from webinar participants. The discussion was attended by over 120 participants.