Author(s): Venkateshwara S. Gajavelli
The Coronavirus within a short span of time has done enough to disrupt the global supply chains, investor sentiments, financial markets, and economic activity on a massive scale. The global economy of the entire world has been hamstrung and lies in tatters. Further, hundreds of millions of workers are being locked up in homes and face pay cuts and lay-offs if there is no respite in the fear pandemic. The viral wave moving across continents taking a massive toll as governments fight an unfamiliar and unanticipated fight against the virus, companies shutting operations, and normal life coming to a screeching halt. The COVID-19 crisis is catastrophic as we are unequipped to deal with the magnitude of the challenges thrown at us and severe time constraints to get equipped with the medical machinery to fight it. The baffled governments globally initiated rapid action but failed to have any bearing on the financial markets or ameliorate the situation in any way, except the lock-downs that potentially scuttle any efforts in ramping up capacities to effectively tackle the lethal virus, apart from colossal economic and societal costs. This exploratory study attempts to review and evaluate the unusual virus to humankind, its economic and policy effects, and suggest some practical policy prescriptions to tide over the public health-cum-economic crisis. The first and second sections bring out the uniqueness of the COVID19-triggered health emergency and accordingly set the objectives of the study and methods used. The third and fourth sections evaluate the socio-economic and financial fallout of the crisis and the unprecedented fiscal-monetary stimulus strategies resorted to globally. The fifth section specifically focuses on the highly populated Indian economy and the visionary ways of the largest ever fiscal-monetary impetus in the backdrop of a potentially high fiscal deficits scenario. The sixth section evaluates the impact on the Corporate Sector and success tactics of the FMCG & Pharmaceutical sectors. The last section essentially weighs various policy actions, impacts, and a few recommendations for policy effectiveness, besides conclusions.