K V Subramanian: Indian economy in better shape compared to previous Covid-19 wave: CEA

NEW DELHI: The Indian economy is in a better shape as compared to the previous Covid-19 wave witnessed last year because of vaccines, chief economic adviser K V Subramanian said on Friday.
Speaking at an event organised by e-commerce major Amazon, he said uncertainty is much lower this time but people should be cautious.
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“There is a second wave therefore people should be careful about it and follow all regulations. But overall compared to previous episode, we are in a better shape because vaccine is out and vaccination drive is proceeding. So uncertainty is much lower,” he said.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, India went in for one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, leading to a massive contraction of about 24 per cent in GDP.
Beginning March this year, the second wave started rearing its head with a sudden jump in cases, forcing many states to go for localised restrictions to break the Covid-19 chain.
India added a record 2,17,353 new coronavirus infections in a day, taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 1,42,91,917, while active cases surpassed the 15-lakh mark, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Friday.
This is the second consecutive day that the country has reported over two lakh cases.
Subramanian further said “one key thing that stood out during this pandemic is the rollout of e-commerce and digitisation, something that India has embraced.”
As many as 800 million people were provided essential supplies through the public distribution system and cash transfer through the Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobile (JAM) in a seamless manner with a click of button, while most advanced countries like the US provided financial support to its citizens by issue of cheques implemented over 2 months, he added.
“I think Indian economy is really equipped very well to usher in the significant growth that is happening in e-commerce,” he said.
He also suggested that MSMEs should embrace technology and invest in innovation for growth of their businesses.