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India wants big loan from Beijing-based AIIB

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India is seeking loans to the tune of $6 billion from multilateral institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help combat the coronavirus crisis. The money will be used to scale up on testing kits, ventilators, add more hospital beds and personal protective equipment for health care workers, reported Bloomberg.

While details of the loan have reportedly not been finalised yet, the publication said that PM Modi is in talks with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and ADB for the same.

This comes just days after the World Bank approved $1 billion of emergency financing for India to tackle COVID-19.“In India, $1 billion emergency financing will support better screening, contact tracing, and laboratory diagnostics; procure personal protective equipment; and set up new isolation wards.” World Bank as reported by PTI 

Economic Impact of COVID-19

India has been under a complete 21-day lockdown since 25 March. This has disrupted businesses across multiple sectors. According to Arun Singh, Chief Economist Dun & Bradstreet India, India’s GDP growth could moderate further.“Given the 21-day lockdown in India, India’s GDP growth is expected to moderate further from our earlier estimate of five percent for FY20. And growth for FY21 remained highly uncertain.”Arun Singh, Chief Economist Dun & Bradstreet India to PTI 

Meanwhile, CARE estimates that the real impact of the lockdown will be felt in the first quarter of financial year 2021, reported Quartz India. CARE ratings suggested that growth between January-March 2020 quarter could fall to 1.5-2.5 percent as the usual ramping up of production due in the year end could not be implemented due to the shutdown.

Aside from both small and large businesses coming to a complete standstill, lakhs of migrant labourers have been rendered unemployed. With train services completely suspended, these daily wage workers have been forced to walk hundreds of kilometres to reach their homes.

India has recorded over 2,900 COVID-19 cases so far and a death toll of over 68 people. With hundreds of new cases being reported daily, stepping up healthcare infrastructure and increasing facilities to screen, test and treat coronavirus patients is the need of the hour.

Courtesy – The Quint

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