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India's coronavirus lockdown spells disaster for struggling economy

Government can cut taxes and red tape to boost eventual return to growth

| India
An empty shopping mall in Gurugram, pictured on Mar. 19: lockdown will ruin the income of brick-and-mortar shops which are already suffering from online competition.   © Reuters

Even before the coronavirus outbreak in India and the government's imposition of the world's largest lockdown, affecting 1.3 billion people, the country's economy was struggling.

India's gross domestic product grew 4.7% in the last three months of 2019, the worst level since 2013. Car and home sales have fallen; private investment is sluggish; and tax shortfalls will further reduce the government's ability to support growth.

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