Even while fighting with the world’s biggest health crisis of recent history, Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport, Mr. Nitin Gadkari expressed his positive opinion for Indian MSMEs to consider this tough situation as an opportunity to expand business. In a live TV Interview Mr. Gadkari mentioned, “Due to the COVID-19 outbreak world leaders and global trade authorities are avoiding to do business with China and this is a blessing for India.”
During the discussion, Mr. Gadkari emphasized on government’s plans to support MSMEs (micro, small and medium-scale enterprises) incurring losses during the coronavirus outbreak and steps to boost the national economy after the end of the lockdown.
he also touched upon the migrant crisis that has made headlines across the country, warning against allowing the lakhs of stranded men and women to return to their home states for fear of the virus spreading.
The comment on China comes days after Asia’s largest economy hit out at the government over new rules for FDI (foreign direct investment), describing them as a violation of WTO (World Trade Organization) principles of non-discrimination and saying they were against free and fair trade.
Mr Gadkari also appeared to indicate this could be the opportunity for the government to fulfil Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambition of making India a five-trillion-dollar economy by 2025.
“(We) will assign a joint secretary to convert new technology to investments to fulfil the Prime Minister’s vision of making India a five trillion-dollar economy,” he added.
Both India and China are likely to be badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicting a growth rate of 1.2 per cent for the Asian giant in 2020; its lowest in over four decades.
The contraction in its economy – GDP shrank 6.8 per cent in January-March as compared to the same period 12 months ago – was indicated by fall in industrial output in March and a nearly 16 per cent fall in retail sales.
China has also faced criticism, some guarded and some open, over its role in the coronavirus pandemic; the virus originated in the country’s Wuhan district in December last year.
This week United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed the Chinese government had failed to report the outbreak in a timely manner and was in breach of WHO (World Health Organization) rules.
Meanwhile, the IMF predicted a 1.9 per cent growth rate for India this year, and also said it expected both China and India to rebound strongly in 2021, assuming the coronavirus pandemic was contained.
The COVID-19 pandemic has infected 28.25 lakh worldwide and led to the deaths of nearly two lakh people. In India, where the government today claimed a lowest daily growth rate in cases since late March, nearly 25,000 cases and 779 deaths have been reported.