Financial Survey: How govt used ‘Barbell’ technique, ‘Agile’ framework to mitigate Covid danger

NEW DELHI: The sudden onset of Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 had created a wave of uncertainty amongst all sectors of the financial system.
With nations internationally imposing stringent lockdowns to curb the unfold of virus, the weak sections of the society have been the worst affected.
The federal government recognised the opposed influence that nationwide lockdowns and quarantines may have on financial exercise. Due to this fact, it moved shortly to place in place financial security nets comprising a number of measures to forestall misery.
The Financial Survey 2022 launched at present highlighted this “barbell technique” that the federal government adopted and prioritised saving lives over progress.
Despite the fact that conditions have considerably stabilised now with elevated consciousness and administration of Covid vaccines, repeated waves from mutating virus, journey restrictions supply-chain disruptions and, extra lately, international inflation nonetheless pose a risk to tempo of financial restoration.
Full protection: Union Price range 2022-23
What’s Barbell Technique
It’s a widespread technique utilized in monetary markets to cope with excessive uncertainty by combining two seemingly disparate legs.
In line with Financial Survey, it makes use of a mixture of security nets are put in place for weak sections and real-time information-based coverage adjustment is used to sort out the challenges that come forth.
In easy phrases, it makes use of real-time information to determine, realise and mitigate the chance.
It’s basically identical because the widely-used ‘Agile’ framework that makes use of feedback-loops and real-time changes.
In an unsure surroundings, the Agile framework responds by assessing outcomes briefly iterations and continually adjusting incrementally.

How did govt put this to make use of
Understanding the risk posed the virus, the federal government determined to shift from ‘Waterfall’ framework to Barbell technique.
The survey stated waterfall framework has been the standard technique for framing coverage in India and most of world. It entails an in depth, preliminary evaluation of the issue adopted by a inflexible upfront plan for implementation.
The methodology works on the premise that every one necessities will be understood initially and due to this fact, pre-commits to a sure path of motion, it added.
That is the considering mirrored in five-year financial plans, and inflexible city master-plans, the survey famous.

The depth of Covid-19 pandemic referred to as for a quickly altering coverage strategy to cater to the wants of the individuals. The ever-mutating course of the virus made the Waterfall strategy unfit to satisfy the wants of this unexpected exigency.
Therefore, the federal government adopted the 2 pillars of provide facet Barbell Technique the place on one hand it centered on creating flexibility within the financial system by means of deregulation and reforms, thereby permitting the financial system to raised reply to uncertainty. However, it centered on enhancing resilience by means of numerous measures like Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, PLI and extra.

Availability of real-time information made it simple
Over the past 2 years, authorities leveraged a bunch of excessive frequency indicators (HFIs) from departments/businesses in addition to non-public establishments that enabled fixed monitoring and iterative variations.
Such data contains GST collections, energy consumption, mobility indicators, digital funds, satellite tv for pc images, cargo actions, freeway toll collections, and so forth.

The survey stated these HFIs helped coverage makers tailor their responses to an evolving scenario fairly than depend on pre-defined responses of a Waterfall framework, the Financial Survey stated.
Nonetheless, the flexibleness of Agile improves responsiveness and aids evolution, nevertheless it doesn’t try and predict future outcomes. This is the reason the opposite leg of the Barbell technique can be wanted. It cushions for unpredictable unfavourable outcomes by offering security nets.
That’s the reason the federal government introduced a number of measures, particularly catering to the poor and weak sections of the society.
Measures adopted
After the pandemic struck, authorities primarily centered on making meals accessible to the poor. Thereby, it supplied emergency liquidity assist for MSMEs and held the Insolvency and Chapter Code in abeyance, the survey famous.
As soon as these have been in place, the federal government made its means ahead by recurrently saying packages focused at particular challenges.
Therefore, it adopted a cautious mixture of emergency assist and financial coverage actions to offer a cushion in opposition to pandemic induced shocks whereas flexibly adapting to an evolving scenario.
The survey stated imposing stringent lockdown when instances have been in March 2020 was step one in direction of this strategy. It supplied the mandatory time to ramp up testing infrastructure, create quarantine services and so forth. Most significantly, it gave time to know the Covid-19 virus, its signs and the way it unfold.

Financial, monetary assist
The Financial Coverage Committee (MPC) of Reserve Financial institution of India (RBI) minimize the coverage repo charge by 115 foundation factors (bps) throughout February to Could 2020, on high of a discount of 135 bps within the previous 12 months.
Since then, the MPC has maintained establishment on the coverage repo charge maintaining it unchanged at 4 per cent.

The Marginal Standing Facility charge and the financial institution charge have additionally remained unchanged at 4.25 per cent and so has the reverse repo charge at 3.35 per cent.
RBI in its newest MPC assertion has additional determined to proceed with this accommodative stance so long as essential to revive progress on a sturdy foundation.
A lot of further steps have been taken all through the interval to make sure that there was satisfactory liquidity within the system to permit the central and state governments to finance themselves at decrease charges.