Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary responses. The Covid-19 crisis is nothing if not extraordinary. Responses are imperative to deal with the health crisis, cushion the hundreds of millions workers and households that have lost livelihoods, and protect firms against the collapse of business in virtually all non-essential sectors. With the private sector collapsing, the government’s role will be pivotal. But does the Indian government have the fiscal means, especially when revenues are also declining? In truth, this is a rhetorical question: One way or the other the means must be found to avert potential economic and social collapse. The only question is how. We suggest a menu of options.
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