Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met India Inc to take stock of the coronavirus and its impact on the Indian economy. Representatives from pharma, textiles, electronics and hardware, and chemicals industry participated in the meeting with the Finance Minister.
Ms Sitharaman said that she discussed the coronavirus in China with industry representatives and took their feedback about its impact on Indian industry. “We wanted to know how Indian industries would be impacted by coronavirus,” Ms Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Chemicals and solar equipment makers were very vocal about disruption in supply of raw materials from China, Ms Sitharaman said, adding that some issues regarding exports, imports and raw materials also came up at the deliberations.
The finance minister gave an assurance that she was looking at all possible solutions and will have a discussion with the Prime minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday afternoon to find a way out. Ms Sitharaman will be holding a high-powered secretarial level meeting, post the cabinet meeting scheduled earlier in the day, to discuss the matter.
The death toll from the novel coronavirus has already reached 1,873 and 73,325 people have have been reportedly infected by the deadly contagion.
China has been the worst affected, but there are also reports of outbreaks in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. The virus was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China, in late December 2019, has rapidly spread to more than 20 countries including India till date.
There are fears that the virus would worsen the domestic slowdown, given that India is dependent on China for raw materials and finished products across the pharma, computers, smart phone, electronics and toy industries, and the virus has triggered widespread supply chain disruptions.