Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, has heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his approximately 30-minute address to the nation on Tuesday evening in which he outlined the need to make India self-reliant and also announced a ₹20 lakh crore special economic package.
Mahindra, who had previously said that it would be economic hara-kiri (suicide) if lockdown is extended much longer, took to Twitter late on Tuesday night and showered praise on PM Modi for his speech. "This was the PM’s Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) speech; an opportunity to change the narrative from ‘Survival’ to ‘Strength.’" he wrote. "We will know tomorrow whether or not this is going to be a transformational moment like 1991. What I also believe is I won’t get much sleep tonight!"
Mahindra was referring to more details about the economic package that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is now expected to shed light on in the coming days.
PM Modi in his address to the nation had said that the economic package is approximately 10% of India's GDP. This could well kick start the process of bringing the economy on the right track, especially after it has been jolted due to weeks of lockdown. And while health of people at large was repeatedly - and rightly - highlighted to be more important than economy, Mahindra had said that it could affect large sections of society in terms of work, if extended. "A functioning & growing economy is like an immune system for livelihoods. A lockdown weakens that immune system and most hurts the impoverished in our society," he had previously tweeted.
While the pandemic remains a challenge in the country and in most parts of the world, many have said that it is time to also focus on rebuilding rather than only focusing on containment measures. The lockdown itself may well be extended beyond May 17 with PM Modi in his speech stating that it would have a whole new set of rules and relaxations, details of which would be announced before May 18.