Kolkata, Dec 30 (PTI) Niti Aayog member V K Saraswat on Wednesday said that self-reliance will be the new mantra of the government to sail through the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at a webinar organised by Merchants' Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Saraswat said that most economists are expecting U-shaped recovery pattern for the GDP which will be in the form of low short-term growth rate.

"In the current scenario, where an extended first wave of the pandemic could stifle economic recovery, self-reliance will be the new mantra to sail through the crisis," he said.

Saraswat said that the government is looking at flattening the recession curve.

"Market functioning has restored. But economic recovery will be incremental. Both discretionary and non- discretionary spending are now taking place," he added.

He said that due to the impact of the pandemic, real GDP has fallen to its lowest in six years, while the lockdown has brought economic activity to a standstill, the Niti Aayog member said.

Saraswat said that GDP growth is improving, but it is yet to be on the positive side.

As per the liquidity and profitability impact analysis, tourism and travel have been the most affected sectors, while the impact on retail and education has been medium, he said.