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Last Updated : May 19, 2020 07:08 AM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Ashamed to have abandoned migrant labourers, cannot prosper at cost of poverty: Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Talking about the government's economic stimulus package, Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said that we have lost a big opportunity to create demand.


Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, executive chairperson of Biocon, on May 18, talking about the government's economic stimulus package, said that we have lost a big opportunity to create demand.

According to Shaw, what has been announced may be enough for survival but is not adequate for the revival of the economy that has been hit severely by the COVID-19 disruptions.

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"Where I am concerned is that we are creating all the liquidity for supply but what about the demand? Demand is going to be a very important part of economic revival and if we cannot kickstart demand, I fear that we will not be able to get into economic revival. It will just be economic survival. I just think we have lost the big opportunity," she said in an interview with CNBC-TV18.

Stressing on the importance of social security net for the poor, Shaw said that she was hoping for a minimum basis income to be announced.

"You can see what has happened to the plight of the migrant labourers. We should all feel very concerned and very ashamed that we have abandoned them to basically find their own means. This is something which doesn’t augur well for a country that wants to be prosperous, we cannot prosper at the cost of poverty," She said.

Also read: Episode 5 of economic package | A demand side measure, one big reform and more borrowing

She also added that it was very unfair of the government to ask all the industries to pay for all the employees’ wages. "There is nothing for them to replenish it with. If we don’t start getting industries back in full operations, we will have a challenge."

Pointing to what she believes are the positives of the announcements of the stimulus package, she said, "I think agriculture has got a good boost in terms of some of the reforms. However, we can still look at giving them more in terms of modernization, incentives, etc.

"As far as the MNREGA rural development... MSME sector has also got a reasonable number of support systems and incentives," Shaw added.

Shaw, however, said that she would have liked to see some GST reductions to encourage buying. This, she said, could have been done for a short period -- three-six months --to stimulate demand.

She also insisted that the government's focus should be on managing the mortality rate of COVID rather than the number of infection cases.

"We need to manage the virus. As I keep saying, don’t worry about the positive cases rates -- it is going to go up -- focus on the mortality rate. If we can learn to manage the patients better with a large number of new treatments and new products or drugs or treatments that are now coming into the understanding, I think we will be able to deal with this virus much better and with less fear," added Shaw.

Source: CNBC-TV18

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First Published on May 18, 2020 11:28 am