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The Making of a Catastrophe: The Disastrous Economic Fallout of the Covid-19 Pandemic in India

The COVID Catastrophe in India

In The Making of a Catastrophe, PERI researcher Jayati Ghosh describes how the COVID-19 pandemic has been the worst health calamity in India for at least a century and, in particular, how the central government’s “very specific policy failures—acts of both commission and omission—were responsible for the widespread and pronounced decline in people’s livelihoods …and caused major setbacks to the development project of the country.” Ghosh documents how the central government “did next to nothing to ensure basic protection for the hundreds of millions of people who were denied income for several months.”

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The Covid-19 pandemic has been the worst health calamity in India for at least a century. But beyond the direct impact of the virus on the health of tens of millions of Indians, the economic devastation experienced by the country due to policy responses to the disease has been unprecedented. This shock to the economy is so severe as to merit the description ‘catastrophe’ and is unlikely to be simply wished away once the pandemic recedes. In The Making of a Catastrophe, Jayati Ghosh analyzes the disastrous economic effects of the pandemic, and the lockdowns, and other policies that followed in its wake. This book covers many areas of the economy that were affected such as investment, consumption, savings, finance, and employment, and goes deep into the specific consequences of government actions on agriculture, manufacturing, construction as well as old and ‘new’ services.

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