Centre Must Aid Firms To Fight Coronavirus Impact: Experts

MUMBAI: The central government should immediately step in to help out the Indian industry-especially the pharmaceutical sector- affected by the Chinese economic clampdown caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus infection, said experts at a talk held at the Indian Merchants Chamber on Thursday.

Alternatively, the current impasse could be seen as an opportunity. “We could have a one-window clearance system to help Indian companies step in the vacuum caused by the Chinese impasse. We could turn this into ‘Advantage India’,” said IMC president Ashish Vaid.

Naushad Panjwani, president (west), Indo American Chamber of Commerce, said the Indian government should help contain the economic crisis caused by coronavirus. “Many of our medicines and healthcare products are dependent on Chinese companies. The government has to step in and bring the pharmaceutical industry back on track by rejigging tariffs or regulations… It is an opportunity for the Indian companies if the government helps out,” he added.

Infectious diseases specialist Dr Vasant Nagvekar from Lilavati Hospital said, “The SARS 1 outbreak in 2002-03 caused 10% mortality and the MERS virus caused 34% mortality. However, COVID-2019 has a mortality of 2-4%. It is highly contagious, but not as harmful as the other two.” IMC president Ashish Vaid said if the current economic situation continues, it would affect sectors such as oil, steel, chemicals, plastics and pharma. “Even the auto sector could be affected as would small traders who deal with buttons, zippers etc. Refrigerators and AC sector would be hit as compressors come from China.-Times Of India

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