Blockade will end slowly, but refinancing is urgently established – editorials
On Monday, in an interaction with the Chief Ministers (CM), Prime Minister (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi offered broad clues about the next steps in India’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic. The most important conclusion of his comments, even if not explicitly stated, is that the exit from the blockade after May 3 will be gradual and gradual. There will be, reading between the lines the Prime Minister’s message to the CM, without great openness. Mr. Modi made it clear that the blockade has saved lives; reiterated the importance of social distancing; and stressed that special attention should be paid to “red zones”, which harbor larger groups of cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). This indicates that in such areas at least, restrictions will continue after May 3.
The prime minister also referred to the need to “give importance to the economy,” even as the fight against Covid-19 continues, an indication, perhaps, that there could be some return to what will be a new normal after the deadline for extension closes. One possibility is that more guidelines will be provided, at least in the so-called green areas, which are not affected by the pandemic. The Prime Minister emphasized that efforts should be made to convert red zones into orange zones and orange zones into green zones (which are not affected by or free of the disease). While the prime minister did not give a specific idea of what further relaxations will be introduced (clarity would have been welcome), he spoke of the need to examine each administrative unit and suggested that much would depend on the inclination of state governments. Given the inclination of at least some states to extend the blockade, this may mean an additional delay in the revival of economic activity.
The big gap at the meeting, however, was in the matter of finances. Despite the fact that the state CMs raised the problem of their depleted finances and the need for support, the prime minister did not provide a specific commitment. The government has already delayed a much-needed stimulus package for the economy, perhaps causing irreversible damage to a variety of companies and industries. Now it is also delaying the announcement of a framework to support states, which are spending more and earning much less than usual. This is unsustainable and will mess up the entire framework of public finances. Still, there is one week to go. At the end of this period, India must have a plan to open up and another to shore up state finances and revive the economy.