Bajaj Auto’s MD and CEO said the Rs. 20 lakh crore economic package has largely left people unimpressed.




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Rajiv Bajaj says the government’s economic package left many unimpressed

Rajiv Bajaj, MD and CEO of Bajaj Auto Limited, India’s largest exporter of motorcycles, has said that the ₹ 20 lakh crore economic package announced by the Narendra Modi government to battle the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has largely left people unimpressed. Speaking in exclusive media interactions, Rajiv Bajaj had one message to give, that the government’s economic package needed to be more realistic, and more effective. Bajaj said the stimulus package announced by the government should have been simpler, specific and more sustainable, adding that the government should have given direct money into the hands of people.

Also Read: Govt Economic Relief Package Likely To Spur Demand Of Automobiles


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“I haven’t heard anybody say, ‘wow’! When somebody says we’re going to put ₹ 20 lakh crore, I would like to believe that at least some part of it would be real and effective, but I haven’t heard from even those who have a better comprehension of economic matters than me,” Bajaj said in an interview to Mojo Story.

In another interview, Bajaj said that the stimulus package announced by the government should have been real and effective. While batting for more support for Indian industry, Bajaj gave the example of Austrian motorcycle brand KTM, and the support it has received from the government. Bajaj Auto owns 50 per cent stake in KTM.

“I would have frankly expected something that was simpler, that was more specific, and that was more sustainable. Like the kind of support that I hear have been forthcoming in the West. I’ve been talking to my counterpart at KTM, CEO Stefan Pierer. Over there, 85 per cent of the employee cost has been reimbursed by the government. Let me give you another example of a college friend of mine who runs a small outfit, of no more than eight people in Detroit, Michigan. Most of the employee cost was reimbursed to him by the government on the condition that he keeps all of them on the rolls. So, that’s the kind of very direct, very substantial support that people are receiving in other parts of the world,” said Bajaj in another interview.

Also Read: Economic Relief Package Likely To Boost Demand, Restore Supply Chain

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The coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 25

Talking about the ongoing countrywide lockdown, Bajaj said the lockdown has been executed without any logic, or clarity which creates more fear than anything else. According to Bajaj, India’s announcements seem to have been taken in panic to what was happening in the West and the developed world, which hasn’t worked out well, because of the difference in demographies. Now, India is staring at rising losses, debts and job cuts. And, instead of flattening the curve, which it was intended to do, now the curve has peaked, Bajaj added.

He also said that the benchmark for opening up of lockdown is also not clear, and there seems to be no clarity on who will take a decision in this regard.

“The PM is waiting for CMs and the CMs are waiting for the PM! Nobody is speaking coherently and cohesively about the elephant in the room,” Bajaj said.

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The Managing Director of Bajaj Auto further added that the government has to deal with the acute part of the problem immediately. Companies have zero revenue, people don’t have jobs and salaries but there has been no announcement made in this regard. Bajaj said putting money directly in people’s hands, especially from poorer sections, is the need of the hour. He also expressed dissatisfaction that big businesses are not speaking out about the crisis the industry faces in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

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