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“In the Aftermath of Covid 19, a Clear Strategy for Rebuilding the Economy must be worked out”

COVID-19

“The fight against Covid 19 should focus on reviving the economy and getting growth back on track without putting extra pressure on the fiscal deficit”, said Dr Duvvuri Subbarao, IAS (Retd), former Governor, RBI, in his virtual valedictory address of the 15-week duration Special Foundation Course for 142 Trainee Civil Servants, including 61 IFS Officers and 59 IPS Officers, conducted by Dr MCR HRD Institute of Telangana.

            Subba Rao called upon the Officers to give a serious thought to restarting the economy. He said that the RBI has been fairly successful in maintaining financial stability, despite severe pressures on liquidity and on monetary slippage. “Banks, however, have been risk-averse and that is what needs to be altered now through a proper incentive structure and stimulus”, he stated and added that now that the Government has announced its willingness to stand surety for MSME loans, banks will be eager to lend and provide the necessary working capital to enterprises that are cash-starved.

Rao opined that it is important for the fiscal system to start reviving the virtuous cycle of Consumption, Production, Investment, and Job- growth as a step in the direction of giving a big boost to the economy and confidence to both markets and investors. While underlining the critical role of migrant labor in this campaign, he called for a fair deal to them.

            Continuing his address, Subba Rao said, with a sense of optimism that once Covid 19 crisis ends, India’s turnaround would be faster and better, as its infrastructure and human recourses, will be intact. “While domestic financial sector will be under deeper stress by the time the Covid 19 crisis ends, there are a number of silver linings in the situation, including declining crude prices, bumper crop, relatively stable rupee, and healthy external sector.

“The dilemma of saving both lives and livelihoods is a challenging proposition for India given the weak infrastructure and high population density”, he stated and argued for strong structural reforms in the economy and higher allocations for healthcare. He called for a reorientation in expenditure priorities in favor of prevention of diseases, rather than merely curing them. He applauded the role of the RBI and said this would result in monetary transmission through Banks and NBFCs.

Rao stated that mere formulation of the best and the brightest policies will not be enough. They will succeed only when civil servants are equipped with such traits as pursuit of excellence, passion for work, and readiness to learn”, he stated and added that while the macro and micro environment has changed at a mindboggling pace, the importance of character of a civil servant, in terms of such ethics and values as honesty, credibility, and, integrity has not changed.

 K Srinivas,  Additional Secretary to Government of India, DoPT, who was the Guest of Honor, said that the people belonging to different walks of life are now witnessing the exemplary role of Government employees, irrespective of their department and level, in the fight against Covid 19. He said that the cotemporary scenario in which Government employees are working has undergone amind-boggling transformation. “Rigid organization structures and bureaucratic styles of functioning have become things of the past. Decentralizing the decision making process and a role for employees at lower levels in it will be a step in the right direction in ensuring better governance”, he added.

 B P Acharya,  DG, Dr. MCR HRD Institute & Special Chief Secretary to Government, in his Presidential Address, said, with a sense of pride, that the Institute has emerged as a trend setter in imparting training to civil servants, in virtual mode. He said that Civil Servants come across multiple crisis situations in their careers. “Instead of shying away, they should face them head-on as they bring in their wake a number of exciting beneficial outcomes”, he added.

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