Government working to save lives, livelihood: Finance Minister
(Sourced from PTI)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that she has taken inputs from various industry chambers on concerns of India Inc about the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and the government would continue to work with state governments to save lives and livelihood. She sought feedback from businesses to deal with the impact of the second COVID-19 wave on the country's economy.
Spoke on telephone with each of the following business/Chamber leaders. Took their inputs on industry/Association related matters. Informed them that GoI at various levels from @PMOIndia is responding to #Covid management. Working together with states for lives and livelihoods.— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) April 19, 2021
It is to be noted that the economy contracted by a whopping 23.9 percent in the first quarter (April-June) of the previous financial year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Finance Minister had interactions with heads of industry chambers including Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President Uday Kotak, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry President Uday Shankar, and Associated Chambers of Commerce of India President (Assocham) Vineet Agarwal She also spoke to many business leaders to take their feedback on the situation arising out of surging COVID-19 cases and local containments.
The business leaders with whom Sitharaman spoke includes Tata Steel managing director TV Narendran, L&T Chairman AM Naik, TCS Managing Director Rajesh Gopinathan, Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava, TVS Group Chairman Venu Srinivasan, and Hero Moto Corp Managing Director Pawan Munjal.
Last week, the Finance Minister made it clear that the government would not go for lockdowns in a big way and only resort to local containment to break the COVID-19 chain. "Even with the second wave, we are very clear that we are not going in for lockdowns in a big way. We don't want to totally arrest the economy," Sitharaman had said.
"The local level isolation of patients or households which have people in quarantines are the methods through which the crisis will be handled, the second wave will be handled. There shall not be a lockdown," Sitharaman had said.
However, despite the government's assurance, the country is witnessing an alarming COVID-19 surge. Daily average COVID-19 cases across the country crossed 1.7 lakh on Sunday. India's total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed 1.50 crore with a record single-day rise of 2,73,810 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases surpassed the 19-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.