IMF lauds India’s proactive decision of imposing nationwide lockdown in its fight against Coronavirus
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that it supports India’s proactive decision of a imposing a nationwide lockdown in its fight against Coronavirus. Chang Yong Rhee, the Director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, said that the Indian government implemented a nationwide lockdown despite economic slowdown and IMF supports India’s proactive decision.
On March 25, India entered a three-week lockdown, which was slated to end on April 14. The lockdown was extended till May 3. Talking about the impact of the coronavirus on economic growth in Asia-Pacific region, he said that there is hope in 2021 if containment policies succeed. 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.
Spelling out a set of recommendations for the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Rhee said the first priority is to support and protect the health sector to contain the virus and introduce measures that slow contagion. Observing that the pandemic is also affecting the financial market functioning, he urged countries to use monetary and macro prudential regulations flexibly to provide ample liquidity, ease financial stress of industries and SMEs.