22:43 GMT12 April 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The leader of India’s main opposition party Congress, Rahul Gandhi, discussed the impact of the coronavirus on the health and economy of the country with former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan in a video call on Thursday. They also discussed India’s role in the post-COVID-19 world and the pathway for governance.

    Once the pandemic is over, there will have to be a rethinking of the global economy, economist and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said on Thursday while talking about India’s role in the post-corona world order.

    “If there is an opportunity for India, it is in shaping that dialogue in more of a leader because it is not one of the two warring parties. It is, however, a big enough country to have its voice heard in [the] global economy. India can find opportunities for its supply chains and industries and can try and mould the dialogue towards one which has a greater place for [a] multipolar global order”, he said.

    India has reported 33,050 COVID-19 positive cases as of Thursday, and even though the rise in number of cases is occurring at a slower pace, the government has indicated an extension of the lockdown post 3 May by releasing a notification on new guidelines. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the first phase 21-day lockdown on 24 March, which was further extended, making it a 40-day lockdown.    

    In this regard, the former RBI governor suggests managing the reopening of businesses.

    "India needs to think about it plans to open up businesses and offices. What we have to do is manage the lockdown. India needs to be clever about the lockdown reopening strategy. The government needs to think about several factors that are necessary to restart businesses, including public transport. We need to think of a strategy that when we reopen up, it's able to walk off”, he emphasised.

    India has also been facing a migrant crisis since the lockdown was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 March, while the shutdown itself has disrupted supply chains, impacting the agriculture sector and farmers, which were in distress already.

    According to Rajan, $8.6 billion is required to help the poor. “It is not a lot of money because our gross domestic product is over $2 trillion. It is not a lot and it’s possible. It’s important to save the lives of [the] poor”.

    Meanwhile, in a high level meeting held with industrialists on Wednesday, India's Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal said that in the post-COVID era, there is going to see a perceptible change in global supply chains, and Indian industrialists and exporters should be looking to capture a significant share of world trade.

    "Incentives can be given, but they have to be justified, reasonable, and WTO-compliant", Goyal assured industrialists on Wednesday.


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    economic crisis, COVID-19, global economy, Raghuram Rajan, Rahul Gandhi, India
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