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Road-map for government actions during and after the coronavirus pandemic

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“Leaders have three fundamental responsibilities: They craft a vision, they build alignment, and they champion execution.” Anonymous

With the rapid spread of coronavirus, governments across the world adopted social distancing and lock-downs. These measures brought all economic activity except those in essential goods/services to a grinding halt and pushed the world economies into recession. While the costs from this rut, as unpalatable as they are, are inevitable, this also provides an opportunity for the world leaders to reshape their economies while the economic activity is low. This article provides the activities that governments should be taking as they pass along the pandemic curve. 

Phase1: Measures to stay afloat – These measures include providing sustaining economic stimulus to the populations, and businesses so they stay afloat while the situation is taken care of. Other actions that can be taken here include securing capital by providing cushion to borrowers and financial institutions by way of loan, interest and EMI moratoriums.

Phase2: Assess resources and action plans – Perform modeling analysis on different ways in which economies may come out of the pandemic (Virus contained and subdued, treatments found for the virus, pandemic contained but resurges, pandemic prolongs for a longer-term), and the extent of damage done to different sectors and industries of the economy. Marshall required resources and develop a blueprint on how they would like to open up the economies.

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” – ― Rahm Emanuel

Phase3: Rethink goals and action plans – Subdued demand, broken supply chains, and reduced capital flow provide the right concoction of circumstances for governments to reassess risks, redirect supply chains, build manufacturing capabilities, and scale production gradually while demand picks up. In case any such action is desired to be taken, the governments also need to have short-term, medium-term and long-term rolling action plans by which they would like to kick start the economic activities.

“Execution is everything.” John Doerr

Phase4: Implement the action plans – Implement any economic stimulus and action plans systematically.  This is a long-drawn process and may go well beyond the end of the pandemic. Also, the plan needs to be calibrated carefully based on ground reports and insights gained while implementing the plans.

The current crisis provides once in a lifetime opportunity to world leaders, to recraft their economies as well as the global trade. Future generations will allot a place of honor in the annals of history to those who take advantage of this opportunity.

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