Building back better after viral attack in India

28 May 2021

Writing in the Indian Express, Sugandha Srivastav and Tim Dobermann discuss how India's unprecedented fiscal stimulus, estimated at Rs 915,000 crores, gives the government an opportunity to “build back better”.

Directing large sums of money for economic recovery involves a high degree of discretion: Which sectors should receive help? A guiding principle, which seems especially prescient in light of the ongoing COVID-19 wave and Cyclone Tauktae, is to put resilience at the heart of India’s “once-in-a-century” budget.

India should not fall into the trap of reverse engineering short-term GDP growth rates through investments in infrastructure that support high-carbon industries. Instead, the focus should be climate resilient infrastructure in transport and power as well as healthcare and sanitation,  modernised agriculture and disaster risk reduction tools like advanced weather forecasting and early warning systems.

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