Indian Resilience and Defiance Against COVID-19 (The View from Uganda)

By Grace Akello 

The people of India have been exhorted to rise above the doom and gloom of COVID-19 and rebuild their shattered economy. Prime Minister Modi made this call when launching a $266 billion post-corona economic recovery package on May 12. Dubbed “Resilient India,” the package is aimed at regenerating the 520-million workers economy which had been ravaged by thee COVID-19. This economy of the second most populated country in the world suffered a severe nose-dive to such an extent that many people lost livelihoods, small firms were wiped out and there were fears of corporate bankruptcies. The economic consequences of the pandemic were similar to what was experienced by other major economies in the world.

But Prime Minister Modi exhibited his vision of nation-building and rallied India against the scourge of coronavirus, saying it would not be allowed to consume his country or his people. He put on the table a five-pillar package targeted at the growth stimulators of land, labour, liquidity and legal frameworks.

Self-Reliance Mantra

PM Modi urged Indians to tighten their belts and engage in local economic production, along local value chains, to meet local demand for goods. He reassured the world that India would be pursuing a local agenda in her home industry in order to revive her economy and increase her self-reliance. India would not, however, pursue exclusionary or isolationist self-reliance. On the contrary; she hoped to continue being one of the bigger players in global supply chains.

At the top of Resilient India economic recovery pillars is the pursuit of transformational rather than incremental growth in the economy. A state-of-the-art infrastructure would be an integral part of this economy, which will be powered by the Indian demographic dividend. Technology-based delivery systems are envisioned as the cornerstone of this economy. Resilient India would not only increase demand, but would improve all the supply chains. The economic recovery package by Prime Minister Modi thus answered the outcry over the economic effects of COVID-9 from Indian States governments.

(H.E. Grace Akello is Uganda’s High Commissioner to India)

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