In conversation with Business Today, Tata Steel’s Global CEO & Managing Director & President of Confederation of Indian Industry Mr TV Narendran spoke on impact of COVID-19 on low income groups & small businesses impacting overall consumption. While answering to “Direct income support for the underprivileged for the weaker sections and for the small and perhaps micro enterprises across the country is still lacking” said “We have a few suggestions to the government. One is, of course, to continue with the support from Manrega because that has been substantial and that has been important. One is to continue with that to make sure that the recovery is complete, particularly in the rural sector. The second part is to how we can spend more on creating health infrastructure. Because, if you really look at household incomes at the middle class, lower middle class & the poorer people, they've been hit by the fact that the health expenditure has been far more than they budgeted two years back or three years back.”Mr Narendran added “There is a concern that household budgets are under stress. Household balance sheets are under stress because incomes have been hit. If the family is working in sectors that have been more impacted by poor jobs, they have been hit and expenses have gone up in some of these areas. So there is a concern those are the households that need support at the lower levels. You have mountain at support at higher level. It's more about how can you secure them against such kind of unplanned for expenses in the future by great expenditure in health infrastructure and also to create something like a pandemic pool, a pool of capital that is available to respond to any future pandemic, and that can be created over a period of time.”While answering to “If the fiscal health is much better than what it was a few months back, what are the other key suggestions that you have made from a boost for growth, a booster shot for the economy?” he said “The first and foremost is, of course, to continue to spend on infrastructure because that is a force multiply in many ways. It creates a lot of economic activity across the country because a lot of infrastructure is being built in rural areas. It creates jobs, it creates income for MSME sector, and it creates infrastructure, which makes Indian industry more and more competitive. So I think that's an area which has multiple impacts and our recommendations please continue to spend even as much as private sector investment is slowly coming back.”He added “The second part is on the consumption side. One is to look at how do we create more stable jobs? How do we improve the quality of jobs? How can we support labor intensive sectors as much as capital intensive sectors? How can we create incentives around job creation? How can we support sectors like textiles, leather, et cetera, which is more labor intensive and also electronics, which the government is in supporting and getting a fair amount of investment.”He added “The third part is investment or the expenditure on education is about 3% of GDP. Or can we take it to at least 4% and higher? So because once you invest on education, skills, health etc, hopefully you're dealing at the long term fundamental level and creating more opportunities for people to go up the economic ladder. The other suggestion is also about improving the needs of doing business so that we can continue to get more and more private sector coming in. And the last point is to build a long term roadmap on climate change, on technology and knowledge intensive sectors and also to increase the startup ecosystem.