Greening Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery in India: A Case for Green Fiscal Stimulus
India's economic recovery post the COVID-19 crisis should use fiscal instruments to create an inclusive and green economy that also helps India achieve the global sustainable development goals (SDGs)
The COVID-19 crisis has shown that growth must be both inclusive and sustainable in the long term. The Prime Minister announced a special economic package of INR 20 lakh crores for 'Atma Nirbhar Bharat' or a 'self-reliant India’ which would better integrate India with the world. Presently, the overall spending component of the economic package in India is low, in the range 1–2 per cent. To tide over the 2008 financial crisis, governments in many countries used direct fiscal measures in terms of public spending and also to give a boost to environmental sustainability. Learning from the lessons of the Great Depression, multiple recovery packages can be expected from the government.
Recovery packages provide opportunity to take much awaited steps to green the economy in sectors that have the maximum impact on sustainable development. Both sustenance and sustainability have to be the cornerstones of economic recovery as India responds to this crisis. This paper is based on the analysis of more than 160 environmental fiscal measures announced during the 2008 financial crisis, questionnaire responses by stakeholders and perspectives brought forth through a webinar organized by TERI and GGGI. The paper aims to serve the constructivist function of facilitating discussion on the topic of greening post COVID-19 economic recovery so that they are more aligned to sustainable development.