New Delhi: Expressing deep concern over the long-term economic repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown, the Shiv Sena on Saturday said that all political parties should stop playing communal politics in future and instead work towards bringing the economy back on track. Also Read - In Dialogue With Rahul Gandhi on COVID-19 Economic Impact, Raghuram Rajan Says Easy to Have Lockdown But Not Sustainable
The party said the talks held between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan recently over the impact of the COVID-19 shows how grave the crisis is for the economy. It said time has now come to grow wiser. Also Read - 'Greatest Emergency Since Independence,' Says Ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on Coronavirus
“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi held talks with economist Raghuram Rajan through digital medium. Rajan said that the government needs to spend Rs 65000 crore to help the poor facing hardships due to the coronavirus lockdown. He said the entire country will have to face the economic consequences of lockdown,” the Sena said. Also Read - Raghuram Rajan's Advice on Coronavirus: 'Fight The Epidemic First, Worry About Stimulus Later'
“Rajan said the government’s present definition of the poor will change after lockdown. Middle class and upper middle class will also become poor and start demanding certificate of economic backwardness. Even a developed nation like the US is staring at a grave problem of unemployment.
“In the US, there is system of unemployment allowance, which India doesn’t have. Rajan’s observation is that 10 crore people in India will become jobless, which is a matter of concern,” the party said.
Through their talks, one thing became clear that continuing lockdown for indefinte period will prove costly for the economy. The government will have to work beyond the set norms. Power and authority to take decisions cannot remain limited with only a couple of people, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.
As far as Maharashtra is concerned, the 2019-20 revenue income is Rs 3.15 lakh crore, while the expenditure is Rs 3.35 lakh crore. But due to lockdown the revenue deficit will grow and it would become difficult to run the state, it added.
“The central government will have to take everyone along. It will have to take into account others’ views and chart out the road ahead,” it said.
“In India, all political parties should work towards bringing the economy back on track, instead of playing politics of India-Pakistan, religion and caste. The prime minister should take a lead and the entire country will stand behind him,” it said.