With the way this pandemic is playing out, India could especially be hit hard simply because we don’t have a sizeable economy to serve 1.4 billion people. The last twenty years of economic development in the country has been substantial; we pulled nearly 240 million people out of poverty. Unfortunately, if we do not handle things right in the next two years' time, we may push them straight back below the poverty line.
But in all this, there are bright spots. Without a strong investment from outside the country, we will not have the capability to put the markets and industry back in place, and move populations back to their workplaces. There is a great opportunity for India as the trust that people had in the Chinese economy has been seriously eroded. Already Japan has offered over $500 billion dollars to move their industry out of China, and the United States could do something even more drastic. Over 300 top companies in the world may start partially moving out of China. India is eminently positioned to benefit if they come here even for partial production.
This will need a very determined effort from the industry lobby, the businesses, and the government has to pitch in. We must set up a single-point clearance without any bureaucratic process – for land, electricity, and all clearances. If necessary, pass an Economic Emergency bill to empower states to execute the facilitation of big investments.
A billion dollar plus investment must be given immunity from PILs and cost litigation for a period of five years. If we do this, we can get the economy buzzing. It all depends on how efficiently and hungrily we grab this opportunity.