The number of COVID-19 cases added daily are down to the lowest level in the past two months and the number of active cases continued to remain on a declining trend. Several states are now relaxing certain restrictions imposed due to COVID.
So it is a good time to examine state of the economy and take stock of what COVID-induced restrictions around the country have meant for the health of the economy during the second COVID wave.
According to Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, a lot of confidence will return to the economy when there is accelerated vaccination.
“Biggest factor in spurring economic activity is the coverage and speed of vaccination because that is what is going to instill confidence among both, investors and the consumers. As Dr. VK Paul has said, there will be enough supply of doses available between July and December. I know that all the states have now put in mechanisms in place which can accelerate the vaccination program. And as that accelerates, economic activity will ride on it, he told CNBC-TV18.
He said that the economy will rebound as the lockdowns are reversed and believes that a double digit growth rate is still possible for FY22.
“Beginning now, as lockdowns are reversed, as they are liberalized, as industries start going back to normal, the economy will rebound going July forward. As I said earlier, I am a bit surprised of the downward revision of GDP growth estimates because I personally think that we can still score a double digit GDP growth in FY22,” he said.
Kumar expects that a large working population of India will be vaccinated with first dose by December. “The working population in our country is about 90 crore; if we leave those under 18 out of it, it leaves about 70 crore to be vaccinated between now and December."
"And if you do a simple arithmetic, it will come down to about 45 lakh or so per day. We have already achieved 43 lakh per day on April 13 and there are more than 44,000 vaccination stations in the country and more are being set up as well. So, I have no doubt in my mind that the first dose will be administered to a majority of our working population before the end of the year,” he said.For the full interview, watch the video.