Amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, a report last week said that a mix of conventional and unconventional fiscal and monetary policies would be required to prevent a sharper plunge in economic activity. It adds that maintenance of a proactive liquidity regime and facilitating stability in financial market are need of the time. At the same time, fiscal measures are required at least to provide relief to people at the lower strata, affected most by shutdown of commercial activities in the country.
In a similar tone, an industry body has viewed that the central bank should announce an emergency rate cut of at least 50 basis points before its scheduled bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting in April. No doubt, the Coronavirus outbreak has diminished the expectations of a global recovery in 2020, and in this scenario, the RBI should -- in line with global central banks—besides going for rate cuts -- must take innovative monetary measures to address the ongoing concern.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with Finance Minister -- who heads the recently constituted Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force -- the MSME ministry has sought deferment of payments liability like goods and services tax, loan repayment and electricity bills. It has also sought a moratorium for repayment of MSME loans. Following this, industry body Assocham has also come out with proposal for a blanket year-long moratorium by banks on debt repayment for both corporates and individuals.