Government will be able to control inflation in the medium term: Sanjeev Sanyal
Asserting that India is largely out of the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian government’s chief economic adviser, Sanjeev Sanyal, on Friday affirmed that a number of measures were being taken by the government to deal with the rise in inflation.
Speaking to ANI on the sidelines of a convocation ceremony he was attending as a chief guest of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Kashipur, Sanyal said an acceleration of economic recovery was visible.
IIM Kashipur was established by the Indian government in 2011 and offers a number of business administration courses.
Talking about the measures taken to deal with inflation, Sanyal said: “We are taking a number of measures, on the one hand, as you know, we have extended the distribution of free rations which has been introduced, on the other hand, in November we cut a number of taxes…and you have to see the Reserve Bank is slowly raising interest rates.”
“Given all these measures, I think that we are in a good overall economic situation and that we will be able to control inflation in the medium term,” he added.
“That doesn’t mean we don’t have any more problems. There are problems, oil prices have gone up everywhere, there are problems because of that,” he added.
Regarding the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanyal highlighted a number of measures taken by the government, saying that many sectors, such as tourism, which were closed, are coming back.
“So basically I would say the rhythm of our economic system is back, basically,” Sanyal said, adding, “And this year, according to the IMF, our economy could see economic growth of 8.2 % , it’s the fastest in the world and I would say that means that overall we are now out of the turbulence that has occurred due to the pandemic.”
During the graduation ceremony, Sanyal congratulated the passed out students, while emphasizing the importance and challenges of making choices.
The Chief Economic Adviser gave the example of the mechanism the government went through in March 2020, in order to arrive at the decision to impose nationwide lockdown.
“We knew something very serious had happened in China, the Chinese weren’t very clear what it was. We just saw these video clips, as did many of you on social media,” Sanyal said.
“There were experts who said it wasn’t much worse than a bad flu, you remember them from talk shows etc., and then there were others who said that hundreds millions of people would die from it within a few months. Indeed, the only thing we understood from all of this was that no one knew what was going to happen,” he added.
Explaining the lockdown decision, Sanyal said, “What we were doing was basically to hedge against the worst outcome in a situation where we had no information, to hedge against the possibility of the worst happening.”
Regarding the government’s course of action, if the COVID-19 situation escalates in the country and the possibility of another nationwide lockdown, Sanyal said, “We are always aware that if a new wave comes , we have to do something.
Sanyal went on to stress, “We are vigilant because this pandemic is dangerous, if it gets out of control like last year, what impact it can have.”
“But the updates we have so far, the numbers coming in, we want to keep the economy open as much as possible,” Sanyal added.
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