New Delhi: The United Nations Asia Pacific Economic and Social Commission (UNESCAP) has praised the steps taken by India in the wake of the corona virus.
According to a new report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) released on Wednesday, the region’s economic slowdown cannot be ruled out in the current financial year due to the coronavirus.
The Commission did not release any estimate about the economic growth rate, but said that the economy may see a steep decline. However, in the report prepared on the basis of the status of March 10, India’s growth rate has been projected to decline to 4.8 per cent in the current financial year from five per cent in 2019-20 and improve to 5.1 per cent in the next financial year.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having far-reaching economic and social consequences for the Asia-Pacific region, with strong cross-border spillover effects through trade, tourism and financial linkages.
The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2020 highlighted the COVID-19 pandemic as the immediate risk to the region’s economic outlook, deepening the economic slowdown that was already underway.
Although there are significant uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, the negative impacts are likely to be substantial.
As governments respond to the unprecedented health crisis and introduce economic stimulus packages, the report estimates that Asia-Pacific developing countries should increase health emergency spending by USD 880 million per year.
The Survey also calls on Asia-Pacific countries to consider establishing a regional fund to respond to future health emergencies.
The ESCAP report suggests that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers should maintain accommodative macroeconomic policies to sustain the economic health of the region. Fiscal and monetary policies should be focused on supporting affected enterprises and households and preventing economic contagion.
Fiscal spending can also play a significant role in enhancing the ability of health responders to monitor the spread of the pandemic, care for infected people and improve health emergency preparedness