India’s COVID-19 fight secures additional 30-bn yen support from Japan

The government of India in Delhi has signed a loan agreement with Japan to support its initiative to fight the socio-economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest agreement was signed by Suzuki Satoshi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to India, and CS Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance.

New India loan to support poor hit by COVID-19 crisis

Under the agreement, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide an official development assistance (ODA) loan of up to 30 billion yen—or over Rs 2,100 crore—to the government of India as part of the ‘COVID-19 Crisis Response Support Loan for Social Protection.’ This is the second assistance from Japan following the 50 billion yen (over Rs 3,500 crore) loan it gave India to augment the government’s health infrastructure amid the COVID-19 emergency in August 2020.

In a statement, JICA said the program’s objective is not just to contain coronavirus pandemic but also “mitigate its adverse socioeconomic impacts in India, by extending budget support to the Government of India as it implements emergency response programs giving assistance to poor and vulnerable communities and also as it develops policy reforms for social protection as countermeasures against the COVID-19.”

Central and state governments in India have enacted measures to reduce the community transmission of COVID-19 in the country, including enforcing a national lockdown that effectively brought social and economic life to a standstill.

A recent study by Dr. Ranjan Aneja, associate professor in Department of Economics, Central University of Haryana, and Ms. Vaishali Ahuja, post-graduate student in Economics at Central University of Haryana, assessed the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic in India. According to the paper,

“An impact assessment on the basis of available literature is made on all the three sectors—primary, secondary and service sector along with the impact on migrants, health, poverty, job losses, informal sector, environment, and so forth. The all sectors of the economy has been disproportionately affected and even within a sector, there is a disproportionate loss. The societal impacts are dire too with job losses, mental illness, increased domestic violence, and so forth.”

Gaming, leisure and tourism also hit hard

Even the leisure and entertainment industry was not spared by the pandemic. As people continue to do their daily activities from home—be it work, study, or even play casual entertainment casino games like online teen patti real cash with friends and relatives—while waiting to receive the coronavirus vaccine, more and more entertainment and tourism venues are forced to temporarily close their doors. In Goa, casinos were originally shut down in March but were reopened almost eight months later in November 2020.

Floating casino on the Mandovi River previously requested aid from the government, including a tax holiday for at least three years beginning April 1, 2020, as well as allowing “the industry to pay minimum sustenance allowance to its employees during lockdown period and post lockdown period of six months,” SiGMA reported.

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