“India has made amazing progress in other areas. Schooling is almost universal for primary school. Infant mortality rates have been halved since 2000. Access to water and sanitation, electricity and roads has improved considerably, ”the IMF official said.
According to Gasper, in the short term, additional fiscal measures can and should be deployed as needed to support the poor and vulnerable.
“This should be accompanied by a credible medium-term fiscal consolidation plan that can boost market confidence and structural reforms that boost India’s growth potential,” he added.
“Going forward, public finances should continue to support growth and development in India. The effects of COVID-19 on health, education, poverty and nutrition make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals even more urgent. Macroeconomic and financial stability are important necessary conditions for sustainable development, he said.
Responding to a question on handling the COVID-19 crisis, the IMF official said comparisons between countries are inherently complex, especially in this highly uncertain and volatile pandemic environment.
Each country’s response reflected their pre-COVID positions, the capacity of their institutions, and many other factors that may be unique to each country, he noted.
“In China, the authorities have reacted strongly to the epidemic. COVID-19 appears to be contained. Fiscal policy initially focused on improving the public health system, providing financial support to the most affected households and businesses, and increasing investment in infrastructure, he said. .