We support India’s ‘proactive’ COVID-19 response: IMF

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The International Monetary Fund on 16 April, 2020 said that it supports India’s proactive decision of a imposing a nationwide lockdown in its fight against coronavirus. A day earlier, the IMF in its World Economic Outlook had forecast India’s growth rate to be 1.9 per cent in 2020.

“India entered the pandemic turmoil in the midst of a credit crunch-induced slowdown and its recovery prospect becomes more uncertain,” Chang Yong Rhee, the Director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, told reporters during a news conference in Washington.

“Despite the economic slowdown, the government implemented a nationwide lockdown and we support India’s proactive decision,” Rhee said.

On March 25, India entered a three-week lockdown, which was slated to end on April 14. The lockdown was extended till May 3.

For 2021, he said, there is hope. If containment policies succeed there could be a rebound in growth, he said. However, it is highly uncertain how this year will progress, he added.

Noting that this is not a time for business as usual, Rhee said that Asian countries need to use all policy instruments in their toolkits. In doing so, policy tradeoffs will be inevitable and will depend on policy space, he added.