Current Affairs

IMF launches tracker of government policy responses to COVID-19

IMF launches tracker of government policy responses to COVID-19

The International Monetary Fund has launched a policy tracker to track the policy responses by different governments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that the measures taken by governments to tackle coronavirus spread are welcome and essential and more such steps will be needed. The IMF policy tracker will help member countries become more aware of the experience of other countries in tackling coronavirus spread. 

Kristalina Georgieva added saying that sharing of knowledge related to the COVID-19 virus will enable all nations to tackle the crisis more effectively. 

Also read: Coronavirus will bring global recession worse than 2009: IMF

IMF Policy Tracker: Significance

The IMF tracker of government policy responses aims to help all members nations to effectively combat COVID-19 by learning about others’ experience in tackling the crisis and adapting the various policies and practices in a way that suits their unique circumstances and needs.  The tracker will be updated regularly, as per the press release by the IMF Communications Department. 

IMF Policy Tracker: Key Features

• The IMF policy tracker summarises the key economic responses by governments across the globe as of March 24, 2020. 

• The policy responses by nations vary depending on the nature of the crisis and the country-specific circumstances. Hence, the tracker is not meant for comparison. 

• It mainly focuses on the discretionary actions taken by governments to supplement the existing social safety nets and insurance mechanisms. 

• The policy tracker currently includes policies by all G20 nations and European institutions. It will soon be updated with policy actions by more countries.

• Currently, the tracker includes polices responses to COVID-19 by nations such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Also read: India Under Lockdown: What will be Open and What will be closed? Banks, Ration Shops, Hospitals – Get Complete List Here

India’s Policy Response to COVID-19

1. PM Narendra Modi announced Rs 15000 crore worth package for the healthcare sector to set up more COVID-19 testing facilities and acquire personal protective equipment, ICU beds, isolation beds and ventilators. 

2. The centre also has encouraged state governments to make direct transfers to daily wage labourers from Labour Welfar Board Funds. 

3. Kerala announced largest state-level relief package worth Rs 20,000 crore to combat COVID-19 virus, which includes direct transfers to poor households. 

4. The Indian Finance Ministry also announced several measures to ease tax compliance burden across sectors including postponing of tax-filing and other compliance deadlines. 

5. The Indian government has set up a COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force to recommend additional fiscal and support measures.

Background

The nations across the world including India are taking extraordinary monetary and fiscal policy measures to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a healthcare package worth Rs 15000 crore to combat coronavirus in India on March 24, 2020. The Indian Finance Ministry had also announced a slew of measures and extension of deadlines for document filing such as income tax filing, GST filing, etc in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. The Indian Government will also be announcing an economic package to reduce the economic impact of the pandemic. 


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