Best of BS Opinion: The lockdown hammer, restarting the economy, and more

The first part of the stimulus package has focused on the sectors hit hardest by the pre-virus economic slowdown and the post-virus lockdown – micro, small and medium industry units and non-banking financial corporations. The proposals are unexceptionable but, as always, the proof of success is in the implementation. 

 
Given the expectations that were built up around the stimulus, the finance minister would have done better to announce the package in one go rather than instalments. That would have let citizens and businesspeople know what to expect, says the lead edit here. In other views, opinion writers focus on the impact of the lockdown, state labour ordinances and a sugar industry task force report. Kanika Datta sums up the views.

Extending his argument about lifting the lockdown sooner rather than later, former Chief Economic Advisor Shankar Acharya says the damage to the economy, its institutional fabric and livelihoods is likely to be massive and lasting. Read it here.

My column argues that state ordinances extending shift timings and relaxing safety and welfare measures are a discomfiting way of improving the ease of doing business environment. Read it here

The long awaited report from the NITI Aayog task force on the sugar industry offers little to put this sector on an economically sound footing, says the second edit. Read it here

QUOTE OF THE DAY

I think the India government would be well advised to introduce a basic income scheme, and more generally to develop a safety net in India. I do not see how a lockdown can work without a system of income maintenance

French economist Thomas Piketty


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