It has been 43 days today, we all and the economy of the country is in lockdown. The unplanned and last-minute decision of lockdown that was forced on the public without even considering the sensitivity of the situation and its effects on the Indian economy, the first nationwide lockdown was imposed by the government on 24th march to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and then it was further extended to 3 May, because in the first phase the strategies of government and authorities failed to control the spread of the infection and now again it has been extended for two weeks with some exemptions but still there is no change in the coronavirus cases, rather each day the corona positive cases are increasing clearly, the lockdown has failed in controlling the spread of coronavirus infection.
Repercussions of the lockdown on the economy:
This series of lockdown has led to such a situation of the economy from where the recovery seems to be very slow and scary. Since 2019 the Indian economy is facing economic slowdown and never got stable. The economy of our country is rapidly moving towards a state of coma. In the first phase of the 21 days of the lockdown, the Indian economy has faced a loss of Rs 32,000 crores every day.
Talking about current situations Up to 53% of the business has been shut down, the supply chain has been affected badly, the major sectors and industries contributing to the GDP and economy have been affected drastically.
Agriculture: agriculture or primary sector has a contribution of 75% as the basic raw material for production is grown and produced through the agriculture, now after the complete lockdown in the country, the production process has become slow and almost non-existent, as all the three sectors of the economy are interconnected with each other, due to lack of labourers and transportation facilities the existing crops grown by the farmers are in a deteriorating condition.
Railways: the Indian railways are the largest employer of the country it has total 1.4 million of the workforce, and it is also one of the major sources from which the government earns its revenue, in April 2019 the revenue earned by railways was about Rs 4,500 crores and now if we look at April 2020 and May 2020 there seems to be zero revenue earned, rather the expenses are more because of the lockdown. Because the railways are paying off salaries to its employees without conducting its operations and earning a single penny.
Hospitality and tourism: further talking about the hospitality and tourism sector there has been a huge decline in its growth, occupancy rates of hotel rooms have come down to 60%. The average room rent has been decreased to 58-64% and most of the summer vacation bookings have already been cancelled because of the lockdown, not only this but people associated and employed in the tourism and hospitality sector are losing their jobs because the industry has not been generated any revenue since January. Even after the coronavirus crisis gets over it will take almost 10 months for the tourism and hospitality sector to recover and come to a normal, because even after this crisis gets over people will hesitate to travel.
Aviation: due to the lockdown in the country and the whole, airlines have run out of cash, because of which the big airlines like Air India, Indigo, Air Asia, SpiceJet, and Vistara are cutting 50-60% salaries of their employees. Even after the lockdown is over it will take months to recover from the losses because the people will hesitate travelling.
Manufacturing sector: the manufacturing sector has also experienced a huge loss due to the lockdown, the key segments of Indian manufacturing such as Automakers, Smartphone makers, consumer electronics firms, and many others have shut down their operations because of the restrictions and lockdown orders.
The situation is getting worse:
The situation of the Indian economy and the whole country is getting worse day by day. As mentioned above the Indian economy is facing slowdown, depression, and losses, since 2019 and all of this kept piling up and when we entered 2020 it didn’t get a chance to recover itself because of the lockdown and coronavirus crisis, rather the situations have started getting worse and now the country has gone several years back because the entire occupational structure is adversely affected, the three sectors of the economy are constantly falling into losses, there has been absolutely no means of globalization and industrialization to boost up the economy because just like other countries India has also sealed its borders.
The unemployment rate in India has reached above 27% and more than 12 crore people have lost their jobs because of the bad economic conditions. Forget about the small scale and unorganized sectors, but now the situations have become so drastic that the big multinational company like Amazon is also forcing its employees to leave their jobs, the richest man in India Mr. Ambani is also affected so badly that he is now unable to pay salaries to his employees.
All this chaos has happened in mere 43 days of the lockdown, where the main revenue-generating sectors are on a verge of collapsing, unemployment is increasing at a high pace, and the big companies have failed in paying salaries to their employees. The small scale industries and the unorganized sector are under a dark cloud and the people employed here have already lost their jobs.
The situation in India is clearly becoming worse, and this is nothing but just a trailer because the upcoming days of this lockdown and post lockdown will be more tensed. People have already become frustrated and anxious as they are forced to stay inside their houses and now the hunger and the impatience will lead them towards doing unethical things and crime, and after all, this gets over people will be unemployed, depressed and suppressed that they will agree to do the work which is below their professional skills and is unethical just for the sake of the survival and money. People will come on the streets and start stealing money, killing people, and doing all that we have never thought about. The crime rate right now is 80% less than before but it seems that there will be a tenfold increase after the lockdown.
After all this the question that comes to our mind is that will the government and the authorities be able to control the situation after the coronavirus pandemic gets over? Will they leave the people of the country dying out of hunger and frustration? There are thousands of questions like these but the answer is still blurry.
Can we trust our government on our lives and livelihood?
Is our prime minister and his government capable enough to handle such a depressing situation. Who himself is asking for donations and money from us to arrange resources to fight the pandemic. Out of almost 201 countries affected by coronavirus, India is the only country which asked for donations, our government didn’t even have this much resources and money from which it can feed its people for a month or two, even the poorer countries than India had enough resources to handle the situation.
Clearly, all the money that has been collected by the government in the form of taxes has used by these politicians in making their lives luxurious, in making temples and statues and in buying MLAs. Rs 8,458 crore have been spent on buying a private aircraft for Prime Minister Modi. Rs8.3 crores are spent for shooting every episode of the PMs new show, ‘mannkibaat’. There have been 4 episodes since the onset of the pandemic. Helicopters were bought in March for the PM. Seems like the money that was supposed to be spent on the development of the country and the people have spent on fulfilling the luxuries of the government and wishes of the prime minister.
Where is the PM cares fund?
Tata Sons and Tata Trusts contributed Rs 1,500 crore. Azim Premji foundation donated Rs 1,125 crore. Reliance Industries contributed Rs 500 crore, almost all the big celebrities, VIPs, and businessmen have donated a good amount to PM cares fund and more than 10,000 crore rupees have been collected by the government through these donations, despite having such a decent amount of money Mr. Modi is asking people to help poor with food and money. Why do we provide people with food and money what are you supposed to do, aren’t these donations and money that has been donated by so many people are for the sake of providing resources to these people at the time of pandemic?
Despite having a good amount of money the government is deducting the salaries of its employees in the name of lockdown and crisis. The government allowed the movement of migrant workers who were stuck in different cities due to the lockdown, through railways and now these workers are being charged for the tickets, this shows that crore rupees can be spent to buy a private charter but the government can’t even spend a single penny on its people, The Prime Minister has set up a PM Cares Fund. Hundreds of crores of rupees have been donated to this fund clearly the lockdown has benefited no one but these politicians. Why is this money not being used to bring the workers home? Where is all the money going or being spent on?
Economy post lockdown:
There has been a round of news going on these days about the foreign countries withdrawing their investments from china and maintaining economical distance by leaving China because of the coronavirus outbreak and after they leave China India would become an alternative to China and could attract foreign investors. If these are the policies that have made to strengthen Indian economy then it’s clearly a myth, because after the world will get rid of the coronavirus infection all the foreign countries will first look after their economic conditions by investing internally for empowering its industries and different sectors, rather than investing in some other country. Also if we talk about maintaining economical distance from china and India being an alternative to China this thought is next to impossible because to become an alternative of china India itself needs to be first economically independent from china. We have explained this in-depth in one of our articles https://www.inventiva.co.in/trends/riyarana/will-india-ever-be-able-to-maintain-the-economical-distance-from-china/
Also, before inviting foreign companies for doing investments in India, India needs to well establish itself in terms of infrastructure and industrialization which will take years to get developed because of the selfish and money-making habits of the authorities. After the lockdown, our economy has already gone several years back and for such development, we would need a system and prime minister who knows how to spend money on its country and not on himself and his government.
The whole country is thinking that will we be able to survive the lockdown and the coronavirus crisis or not, there is no doubt about this that the situations will get worse after the lockdown, there will be hunger, poverty, unemployment, and crimes, but will our government and Prime Minister be able to handle such a situation because he has clearly failed in handling the current situation. Even after having resources and money after the donations, the government is cutting down the salaries of the employees, asking us to help to feed the poor, doing nothing for the needy and unemployed people.
“ kya sach mein desh majboot hathon mein hai?”