Coronavirus: India is fast returning to normal levels with consumption, says PM Modi

Alphonse Joseph

New Delhi, June 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said business activity in India is fast returning to normal levels with consumption and demand fast approaching pre-COVID levels as visible in macro data on power, fuel and other consumption.

India faced a recession-like scenario after a national lockdown was imposed on March 25 to the curb spread of coronavirus. The lockdown, that has continued in various phases into June, albeit with significant easing of restrictions, resulted in severe disruption of industrial production and consumer spending, with GDP growth forecast to contract sharply.

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"With the easing of lockdown conditions, business activity was fast returning to normal levels," PM Modi said.

Speaking at the launch of commercial coal mining, he said "consumption and demand are fast approaching pre-COVID levels". He cited spurt in power generation and consumption as well as demand for petroleum products during the last week of May and first week of June to buttress his point.

Also, road and highway toll collection in June has reached 70 per cent of the pre-COVID levels of February, while railway freight tariff in May has seen an improvement of 26 per cent over April.

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The Prime Minister stressed on self-reliance, which means cutting down on imports and turning into an export-surplus nation. He asked India Inc and corporate leaders to keep the morale high.

"We can achieve these goals. We can become self-reliant. We have to make a self-reliant India," he said. He further noted that "India Inc and the corporate world has a chance to change the course of history and fate of India. We should not let this opportunity go. Let's take India forward, make India self-reliant."

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