The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth could slip to zero or even negative in the first quarter due to the impact of the countrywide COVID-19 lockdown.
This was observed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar during an interview with The Print.
Kumar was quoted as saying that while there is a chance that this may not happen since essential services are functioning, the virtual shutdown of all other sectors of the economy could result in a zero or negative GDP growth.
Beyond June it would not be possible to provide any forecasts, Kumar said.
Kumar, however, ruled out the possibility of a recession as after June, he does expect some sectors like hospitality, transport, entertainment and FMCG to start functioning.
Kumar also said under the present scenario saving lives is top priority for the government.
Earlier this week, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package for the poor and migrant workers who have been hit the hardest by the lockdown.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday last announced a deferment of all loan repayments, effectively allowing borrowers to not pay any equated monthly instalments or EMIs for any loans until 30 June.