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India among few bright spots in world economy

Bharat Hari Singhania
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Bharat Hari Singhania

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JK Paper Chairman says Indian economy will recover much faster than others

New Delhi: India is expected to be one of the few bright spots in the world economy as countries battle the coronavirus pandemic, according to JK Paper Chairman Bharat Hari Singhania.

The pandemic has arrived at a time when the Indian economy was already experiencing a growth slowdown, as reflected in lower discretionary spending over the last 12 months, Singhania said in his address to shareholders in the company's annual report for 2019-20.

He said in almost 170 countries, people are likely to face a decline in average income over the previous year as well.

"The complete lockdown in India is one of the most stringent, for around 70 days, where almost two-thirds of all economic activity came to a grinding halt. While the advanced countries are set to experience prolonged pains, India is expected to be one of the few bright spots in the world economy, sustaining positive growth at 4.2 per cent for 2019-20," Singhania said. For the country, he said, "unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic arrived at a time when the Indian economy was already experiencing a growth slowdown, as reflected in lower discretionary spending over the last 12 months, particularly in automobiles, consumer durables and high-end FMCG products."

At a time when uncertainty prevails over the containment of Covid-19 and thereby the global economic recovery. "To ensure that the economic engine starts moving, governments across the world are providing fiscal stimulus of varying magnitude," he said.

This, Singhania said, "is important as the end consumers should be provided an adequate safety net to revive demand. That would determine whether the projected V-shaped recovery, where India's GDP growth is expected to recover, will happen or not."

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