1. Undertake as wide a cash transfer programme as possible, of INR 6000 (50% of GDP per capita) for three months. Do not limit to Jan Dhan holders, but use every possible way to reach vulnerable households. Several low-middle income countries have already done this. 2/10
2. Expand MGNREGA to 150 days (act already allows for this) and increase programme wages to state minimum wages everywhere. Surveys indicate a large unmet demand for MGNREGA work. Programme budget will need to expand significantly to make it actually demand driven. 3/10
3. Introduce an urban public works programme with a wide variety of works in municipal, health, education, and other basic urban services. Several states are experimenting with such programmes, but fiscal space is truly there only at the Centre. 4/10
4. Universalise PDS, most states are expanding beyond NFSA lists, but procurement of grain is still an issue. Surplus food stocks should be used *now*, when there is urgent need. 5/10
5. All of the above will inject much needed demand (in addition to providing immediate relief). This demand is the only way incomes will revive for microenterprises. So direct additional spending *now* makes humanitarian sense and economic sense. 6/10
6. We are, even now, at only around 2% of GDP in terms of direct additional fiscal support (centre plus state). States do not have much room (GST plus other woes) but are trying anyway since they are on the frontlines. 7/10
7. Going to 5% makes addl 6 lakh crores available for the above measures. Enough to make a big difference and make recovery a real thing. Waiting for pandemic to subside is not an option because the time frame is long and much more suffering will result from inaction today. 8/10
8. This considerably expands the fiscal deficit, but without this, a large(r) GDP contraction is possible (not to mention the human costs), which will substantially increase the debt-to-GDP ratio. Instead allowing expansion now with clear path to reduction later is better. 9/10
9. Crowding out of private investment is not a problem because private investment is very unlikely to lead the recovery, it will likely follow. If borrowing not possible and monetising considered extreme, do it with clear signal that it is a one-time measure. 10/10
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