When coronavirus was spreading all over the globe, Government of India proactively enforced lockdown thereby spread of coronavirus got restricted and the administration got a breathing time to gear up the healthcare services. By following the basic principles of healthcare i.e. search, test, insulate ad treatment, coronavirus could not spread its tentacles on -pan India basis. Considering the status of public healthcare system of our country, lockdown appears to be safe alternative available. To restrict the spread of coronavirus, number of tests to be carried out has to be increased substantially and at the same time, persons providing essentials services have to be protected from infection.
For providing healthcare services and various state interventions, large amount of funds are required. Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has anticipated rate of unemployment in India at 24 per cent by mid April 2020. Factories are fit to manufacture, but there are no workmen to operate machines. Similarly, agricultural farms are ready with crops, but there is no workforce to harvest due to lockdown. Due to satisfactory rainfall, water table is adequate and bumper crops are expected in kharif and rabi. Due to lockdown, 60 per cent of Indian economy is standstill.
Out of the 42 crore plus workforce in India, nearly 10 crore workers get regular wages and remaining 32 crore wage earners are either on daily wage basis or are self employed. These are the people to whom some work has to be provided. Prior to spread of COVID-19, Central Government’s Budget deficit gap was undivided due to non achievement of targeted collection of GST. RBI’s Monitoring Policy Committee has decided to restrict rate of inflation at 4 per cent of Consumer Price Index and on the State Government’s level by virtue of Financial Responsibility and Management Act, deficit level cannot exceed 3 per cent. Due to this, both the Central and various State Governments cannot borrow much and have to garner revenue by tax collection only.
Considering the nation-wide sensitive situation, tax cannot be coercively collected. To control the human casualties, public service systems and financial ecosystems are to be thought of in tandem. Number of State Governments have extended the period of lockdown but states must flexibly consider opening of agriculture and industrial sector.
1) The districts wherein number of reported coronavirus patients is less, business activities to be resumed by following due preventive norms. 2) Workforce below the age of 50 years to be allowed to work in fields and factories where social distance is automatically maintained. 3) Quality and number of tests for detecting the infection should be increased by making available test kits. 4) District and State boundaries to be opened for free movement of goods and for human movement the prohibition to continue 5) Finished goods of the industry may be a raw material for another industry and hence free movement of all goods to be allowed within the country. 6) For selling the goods manufactured by industries a ‘Stimulus Package’ is essential on sale front and a moratorium for repayment of principal component of term loan for three more months to be provided. 7) Long-term stable policy for manufacturing of electronics goods and pharmaceutical products is need of hour. These are some of the things by virtue of which the Indian economy would again be on the growth path. (Inputs by CA Milind Kanade, President of BJP Udyojak Aaghadi, Vice-President of Butibori Manufacturers Association and Secretary of Federation of Industries Association of Vidarbha)