Pronab Sen
Pronab Sen

Mumbai: Former chief statistician Pronab Sen on Thursday said the country's growth in the next two quarters will not be more than 3% due to the lockdown across the country. Sen further said that due to the ongoing 21-day shutdown, there may be a reduction of about Rs 5 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP).

"Due to the complete lockdown across the country for 21 days, the economic growth in the first quarter of the next financial year will be very low. "I don't expect economic growth in next two quarter (of 2020-21) to be more than 3% which makes achieving the $5-trillion target by 2024- 25 very very difficult," Sen said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting that social distancing is the only way out for the country in its decisive battle against the coronavirus.

"Now, my estimate is that the loss depends largely upon the extent to which the shutdown will continue. At the moment, it is for a threeweek period and over those three weeks, the economy will probably be taking a reduction of GDP of around Rs 5 lakh crore (Rs 5 trillion)," he pointed out.

India's GDP growth had slipped to a nearly seven-year low of 4.7% in the OctoberDecember quarter of 2019-20, weighed by a contraction in manufacturing sector output. In the July-September quarter of the ongoing financial year, the economic growth was revised to 5.1% from the 4.5% estimated earlier. The Modi government aims to make India a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25.

He said that at the moment, fiscal stimulus is not going to help growth because problem is now a supply-side problem. "Production is not taking place. Fiscal stimulus works when problem is on the demand side.

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