The government has to take both monetary and fiscal measures to offset the impacts of the novel coronavirus on the economy.
The central bank has taken some monetary measures as those can be implemented instantly and made companies liquid so that they can pay salaries and meet urgent cash needs.
But I think those efforts are not enough. It seems we are seriously lagging behind in tackling coronavirus and its impacts on the economy.
For fiscal measures, the government may need some time to identify the targeted sectors for the benefits. But an immediate announcement from policy makers is the need of the time, similar to what other countries did immediately after the attack on their economies.
Jobs and demand will be seriously affected, for which fiscal measures are needed to offset the impacts. The US has announced over a trillion dollar in fiscal support, while England and France have promised to pay wages to its employees. Many other economies have also taken similar approaches.
Bangladesh should also announce fiscal measures immediately as it will have a positive impact and ensure the private sector that government is with them.
The government should offer at least $3 billion worth of fiscal benefits immediately, a figure which is mere 1 percent of our GDP. Many other countries are doing far more to support their economies.
Ahsan H Mansur, is the Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute, Bangladesh.