Firstly, not the title you should be reading and not the post I wanted to write. That’s because I expected things to change much earlier. I thought April 14th would be last day of lockdown. But no, Lockdown got extended till May 3rd. People started posting May the 4th be with you. The chances of the lifting of lockdown on May 3rd look slim in most states after a video conference with PM Modi today. Are we going to be in lockdown for more days? Let’s not prejudge, we shall wait for official information.
If Lockdown gets extended, what will happen to the state of our economy?
Not against the welfare of people and their safety. All I want to discuss is about the economic situation of the country. Lockdown began March 15th onwards in some states and it got activated in the entire country after PM Modi called for 21 days Lockdown on 23rd March. As soon as Govt ordered for Lockdown, the preparedness for the lockdown and the possible starvation of people were the major issues. India is a vast country and densely populated. With the high density of population, the chances of disease spreading are very high. Though India has a young population, the disease is a dreadful one and it can affect the person of any age.
Government has brought measures to help the poor, and schemes to help the corporates. We have acquired the testing kits and are in a better position right now in comparison to any developing nation. Indian medical staff have taken the challenge with both the hands and are saving countless lives. We all must be very grateful for all the emergency services. All this is fine. WHO praises India for its fight against COVID-19. IMF is happy with the steps taken by India in fighting the virus. Those who are most hurt are unfortunately left out.
Lockdown is for everyone, but those affected are daily wagers, manufacturing workers, essential services employees. Who will help them? Without these people how many ever schemes Indian Govt and RBI release, there won’t be a single penny of growth.
Growth… We have entered the Financial year 2020-21 during a lockdown. Today is 28th April, almost a month went in quarter 1. With things not looking fine, if the lockdown continues till May end the economy would be in the worse situation like never before. Poverty levels would rise to new heights, deaths due to starvation would increase. I can feel the pinch of the daily bread earners. Their struggle for livelihood is unfortunate. Anyways there is a ban imposed on public places like malls, events etc, shouldn’t the govt start the economic activity in other places?
Yes, in some states local governments eased lockdown and let companies start their operations. Problems were non-availability of the staff. Even though Govts are trying to manage lockdown, save the economy and people, Impact is not visible. Due to hotspots and people travelling to their home towns, the workforce is unavailable. India is going through it’s toughest battle in the 21st century. The decisions taken aren’t enough and Govt needs to strategically formulate plans and put them to action.
All those working from home are mostly for MNC’s. Our GDP is taken a big hit, already we have fallen to a projected growth rate of 1.9%. If the lockdown extends then we might be in the contraction zone on our GDP.
Constructive approach with the structured easing of lockdown will help India to overcome this potential economic crisis and make India shine again in GDP growth.
If I have to conclude: lifting of a lockdown or may be easing of lockdown is essential for economic growth. Of course not by risking people’s lives. Govt should work closely with bureaucrats and apply the changes required to fight COVID-19 and work for economic growth.