Lift lockdown fully to revive economy: Expert panel to TN govt

An expert committee, headed by former RBI governor C Rangarajan, has recommended the Tamil Nadu government to lift the lockdown completely for the economy to be revived.

The government has also been urged to find other ways to contain the spread of the pandemic. There are indications that Tamil Nadu’s economy might return to pre-Covid levels in a couple of months but the State might have to increase its spending to create more jobs at this time, Rangarajan said.

Rangarajan submitted to the government a report of a high-level committee that he headed to assess the immediate and medium-term impact of the pandemic on the State’s economy.

The committee has submitted short-term and medium-term measures that need to be taken to help revive the state’s economy. Some of the key suggestions include offering employment guarantee in urban areas and extending the distribution of free rice to PDS cardholders beyond November.

The observation states that the TN economy could either grow by 1.71% in 2020-21 or decline. “We are unsure of how much the decline would be,” said Rangarajan, after submitting the committee’s recommendations to chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday.

Rangarajan said there are indications based on the GST collections, taxes on fuel, electricity usage that the State is moving to pre-COVID 19 levels. The committee has also recommended extension of relief measures such as provision of free ration by a few more months.