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Too early to conclude on lessons learnt from Covid crisis: Sitharaman

PTI Washington | Updated on October 16, 2021

Says every country in the world has been touched by this crisis

It is too early to conclude on the lessons that India learnt from the Covid, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said as she stressed that the world is not going to be the same post-pandemic.

Sitharaman said that much before the second Covid wave struck, her government had extended a stimulus and was waiting for the economy to revive.

No precedent

In every exercise, which was done during that phase and post the second wave, they did not have any “precedent to depend upon”, she told a group of Indian reporters as she concluded her meetings at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“It is a bit too early for me to conclude on lessons (learnt from the COVID`19 crisis),” she said.

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Sitharaman said they were not even the kinds of exercises which India was doing alone.

Every country in the world has been touched by this crisis, she said. “Therefore, for me to now quickly look at and say — to look at the last year’s experience and say — this could have been better handled, I think will be a bit too early,” she said.

“As I said, there’s no precedent and to assess it from this short a year-and-a-half period, may be limiting the scope,” the finance minister said.

Changed post-pandemic world

The minister said the post-pandemic world is not going to be the same.

“India’s priorities are definitely on the basis of the fact that post the pandemic, it’s not really going to be the same world, whether it’s the manufacturing universe or labour,” she said.

The issues will be fairly different from what they were earlier, she said.

Global reset

Sitharaman said a reset is taking place currently, that too across the globe.

“It is not just in one sector, it is across the sectors. There is definitely a lot of thinking in global institutions. It is also looking at how there can be greater convergence among nations so that resources are better utilised,” she said.

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“And where there are issues of getting prepared for future pandemics or any such emergency where countries will have to respond to help one another. There will be a better way of doing it than the way we did this time,” Sitharaman added.

“So, larger issues of global convergence, larger issues of multilateral institution being ready for meeting such challenges, larger issues of having a global envelope, which can be contributed to by everybody so that there is a better response for any such pandemic — if we have to face it in the future — have all been part of discussions in the multilateral fora, in bilaterals, and also among my company, and business leaders meets,” she said.

Published on October 16, 2021

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