Apart from tackling the health challenges of Covid-19, India needs to effectively implement plans to come out of the economic slump resulting from the lockdown. Two key sectors crucial to these plans are transport infrastructure, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, for which the government has announced a full credit guarantee on fresh loans up to Rs 3 lakh crore.
Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister in charge of both these sectors, has the unenviable task of overseeing this revival exercise as the country eases out of the lockdown. Gadkari will be the guest at the e-Adda, an online interaction, that will hosted by The Indian Express on May 18.
The survival and revival of MSMEs is at the heart of the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by the government over the week, and more measures are expected to breathe life into the economy.
One of the most senior members of the Union Cabinet since 2014, Gadkari has launched a “bank” of schemes, ideas, innovation and research portals for getting MSMEs back in business and alleviate the distress in a sector that makes up about 45 per cent of the country’s manufacturing output, 40 per cent of exports, and almost 30 per cent of the national GDP.
One of the key strategists in the BJP leadership, as Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Gadkari has earned a reputation in the Cabinet as a crisis manager and doer, who has revived the highways construction sector. During the lockdown, he has been brainstorming with officials and industry stakeholders to ensure that the speed of road construction does not suffer.
The e-Adda will be conducted over webinar by Anil Sasi, National Business Editor, and Ravish Tiwari, Political Editor.
The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change and whose ideas touch the way we live and the way we work, especially in these uncertain times.
Among the other prominent guests at the Express Adda were Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian, cancer specialist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee, and cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara.
Former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian and AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria were recent guests at the e-Adda.