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    Coronavirus: Rs 2 lakh crore fiscal stimulus urgently required to keep Indian economy afloat, says ASSOCHAM chief Hiranandani

    Coronavirus: Rs 2 lakh crore fiscal stimulus urgently required to keep Indian economy afloat, says ASSOCHAM chief Hiranandani

    Coronavirus: Rs 2 lakh crore fiscal stimulus urgently required to keep Indian economy afloat, says ASSOCHAM chief Hiranandani
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    By Jude Sannith   IST (Published)

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    The government will need to take “strong action” if the current coronavirus-driven economic crisis is to be put to rest, said ASSOCHAM president, Niranjan Hiranandani, in an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18.

    The government will need to take “strong action” if the current coronavirus-driven economic crisis is to be put to rest, said ASSOCHAM president, Niranjan Hiranandani, in an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18. Hiranandani called on the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry to consider the option of providing a fiscal stimulus to bring the Indian economy back on track.
    “An infusion of about Rs 200,000 lakh crore to start with should be announced to take care of fiscal deficit for sometime — at least till FY 21,” said Hiranandani. “In total, about Rs 500,000 crore will have to be infused in the economy starting from the poorest of the poor to other businesses to bring things back on track By Diwali in October.”
    Hiranandani’s comments come even as representatives from India Inc. met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, to request for an out-of-turn rate cut and suspension of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings for six months as measures to boost sluggish markets in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
    “We have to save companies, SMEs, traders and exporters all of whom are going through dire circumstances,” said Hiranandani. “We need to ensure that the IBC needs to be suspended for a period of six months in order to ensure that all companies, which have positive net worth don’t go into liquidation. This requires immediate action, before March 31,” he added.
    The ASSOCHAM chief also called on the RBI to do a one-time rollover of loans like in 2008, during the subprime mortgage crisis. “Our crisis today is more severe, so I think we need to take similar measures which we took then,” he added.
    Should his prescriptions be implemented, Hiranandani expressed hope that the economy would bounce back in six months. “I think if we’re willing to take hard and strong measures, we will be back in six months,” he said. “If we don’t take strong action, it will cause a catastrophe both on the medical and economic side.”
    Expressing approval of the Maharashtra government’s decision to impose Section 144 throughout the state, until March 31, Hiranandani said it was long overdue.
    “I’m grateful to the government for taking strong and stringent action. I’m not happy to be at home; I’m not happy about closing down business, but happiness isn’t what we must worry about right now,” he said. “We must worry about wanting more people alive and have health workers to be able to tackle the problem. The
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