‘GDP a reflection of ravages of COVID-19’: RBI Guv Shaktikanta Das says economic recovery likely to be gradual

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The RBI governor said the Indian central bank stands battle-ready to take whatever steps that are needed to be taken for the economy

New Delhi: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday assured the industry that the central bank will take all necessary measures to ensure liquidity in the system and promote economic growth.

Indian economy contracted 23.9 percent in the first quarter of the current financial year.

Addressing a virtual conference organised by industry body Ficci, Das said that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data released by the government was a “reflection of the ravages of the COVID-19”.

Observing that the economic recovery was not yet fully entrenched, the RBI Governor said recovery is likely to be gradual.

“The recovery is, however, not yet fully entrenched and moreover in some sectors the optics which was noticed in June and July, they appear to have leveled off… by all indications, the recovery is likely to be gradual as efforts towards reopening of the economy are confronted with increasing infections,” he said.

As per government data, GDP during the April-June quarter contracted 23.9 percent on account of the strict lockdown imposed by the government towards the end of March to check the spread of coronavirus infections.

In his address, Das spoke about the initiatives taken by the central bank to ease the liquidity situation and make available funds to the businesses impacted by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

The Governor also assured the industry that “RBI is battle-ready… whatever measures are required will be taken by the RBI” to help the industry and businesses to come out of the COVID-19-induced crisis.

Further, he asked businesses to capitalise on the new opportunities created by the pandemic at the global level.

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