The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people across the globe. It is also causing huge damage to the global economy. According to the predictions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 2020 could be the worst year since the Great Depression in the 1930s, with more than 170 countries likely to experience negative per capita income growth due to the pandemic. Countries are taking different measures to mitigate that economic impact, depending on the situations in their countries. However, the process of overcoming economic crisis is going to be extremely difficult. Few businesses would find it hard even to sustain and there is going to be a significant upsurge in unemployment rates.
Like much of the rest of the world, India is under lockdown. It is bit premature to predict the exact impact of coronavirus crisis on the Indian economy since the situation is still evolving. However, it is clear at this stage that the country will be facing major economic downturn and levels of unemployment will steeply rise. The government has already offered an economic package of 1.7 trillion rupees ($22.3 billion) in the last month for providing food security and money to the poor. It is expected that the government would shortly announce the next economic stimulus package.
All this would require the government of India to undertake a ruthless review of existing patterns of expenditure. The government budgeting caters to the requirements of various segments of the society, including agriculture, health, education, and railways. The budget has two other important areas of attention: defense and science & technology.