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‘India Has Taken Very Decisive Steps’ in Managing Pandemic: IMF

However, IMF chief talked of gender inequality in India, where job loss during COVID has affected women the most.

Published
COVID-19
2 min read
Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director 
i

The International Monetary Fund chief, Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday, 14 January gave accolades to India’s “very decisive” steps in dealing with the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a global media roundtable she said, "India moved to more targeted restrictions and lockdowns. What we see is that that the transition, combined with policy support, seems to have worked well. Why? Because if you look at mobility indicators, we are almost where we were before COVID in India, meaning that economic activities have been revitalised quite significantly,” quoted PTI.

The IMF chief added that India’s update as part of the 26 January World Economic Update session would be, “Less bad, because the country has taken very decisive action.” She encouraged the country to “do more” since there is “still space to do more.”

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India Doing Slightly Better than Emerging Markets: IMF Chief

In October, IMF did a report where India was predicted to contract by 10.3 per cent in 2020, but bounce back by 8.8 per cent growth rate in 2021, stated PTI.

Appreciating the economic policies, and calling India’s lockdown dramatic in consideration of the nation’s population, Georgieva said, "What the government has done on the monetary policy and the fiscal policy side is commendable. It is actually slightly above the average for emerging markets.”

She added that India is doing better than the average emerging markets GDP, which stands at six per cent.

The IMF chief recommended policymakers to support the “fast structural transformation and cushion the impact on those that are on the losing side of it” in order to support the economy in a “more targeted manner”.

India Lags behind in Gender Inequality: IMF Chief

However, Georgieva brought forward issues of gender inequality, where job loss in the pandemic is affecting women the most. Speaking about aid not reaching women who are often frontline workers, she said,

“Women are front line workers. They are often in the informal economy, help cannot easily reach them, so they are hit. Once people start losing jobs, who is to lose jobs first? (Again) women are on the front line. Labour market participation in India for women has been low. It is shrinking,” quoted PTI.

“I know the government is paying attention, it is moving in that (direction), but there is so much space to tap into the productive potential of women and the entrepreneurial potential of women,” she added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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