“Industry, by its nature springs into action whenever there is a crisis,” Joint MD of Apollo Hospitals Group and FICCI President Dr Sangita Reddy said.

File photo of Dr Sangita Reddy (Photo Credits: PTI)

India is gearing up to exit a nationwide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. With zero sales in April, most industries and businesses are bearing the brunt of this pandemic. As part of the E-Conclave Jump Start Series, India Today’s Rahul Kanwal spoke Dr Sangita Reddy about strategies that can help revive the Indian economy.

The Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Group and President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Dr Sangita Reddy said that industries in India are being creative, proactive while bracing for impact.

“Industry, by its nature springs into action whenever there is a crisis,” Dr Reddy says. She cites the example of textile manufacturers who are now producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits or automobile manufacturers and defence suppliers now creating medical equipment.

Dr Sangita Reddy adds, “We made history with the lockdown. As a country, and we must be proud of this, we will emerge out of this relatively unscathed. But we also need to realize that unless we do something soon, the economic impact of this crisis will be far higher.”

“Everybody is calling it (pandemic) unprecedented but we are not talking about creating a new rule book. All the facts which are being looked at, FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) norms, solvency, ratings and all these are the old rule book,” Dr Reddy tells India Today.

President of FICCI, Dr Sangita Reddy adds, “Why don’t we figure out how we create a significant surplus and use this surplus to support business continuity to re-stimulate demand and then build new innovative industries for the future. Manufacturing clusters, agri-corporates, infrastructure investment. Use the MNREGA to get our roads and infra in place. With this will emerge a new strong India.”

“The funding that we take in today, the stimulus demand package that we put together and if industry and government stick together in India and together say that the tax generation in India will double or triple in the next 36-48 months, and you put a Covid-cess on that and say we will pay whatever we have raised. I think we are not asking for the sake of asking, we are asking because unless you keep the industry alive, the economy, the country and the people of India will suffer,” Dr Sangita Reddy says.

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