The Hindu Business Line|April 29, 2020
The government deserves to be complimented for efficiently managing so far the fallout of the dreaded Covid-19 outbreak, that is devastating many countries in the world. The clamping of the lockdown was timely, as were the announcements of steps by the Reserve Bank of India to facilitate increased lending by the financial institutions. It is difficult to predict the likely impact of this virus on the economy as a whole, though there are estimates being made by a number of experts. There is absolutely no doubt that world over, GDPs will be adversely impacted, and India too will suffer. The issue now is of limiting the damage and making use of the few opportunities that may come our way.
The world will certainly undergo a change, but it is difficult to predict what will finally emerge. As of now the end to this scourge does not appear to be in sight, but one day it will. The key question is, are we preparing ourselves when the world does come out of the crisis?
Yes, there is bound to be greater focus on healthcare. It has been long overdue in India. It is a wake-up call. The biggest sufferers of the lockdown have been the poor unorganised workers, most of whom are daily-wage earners. There were horrid stories about those who attempted to migrate back to their villages to be with their families. The country will have to think seriously in terms of social security for such workers, another long over-due intervention.
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April 29, 2020