With zero footfall and no demand in the market, the wait of businesses and industries for economic relief is yet not over.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a countrywide lockdown to arrest rising cases of Covid-19, the fate of businesses and industries are still uncertain. With zero footfall and no demand in the market, the wait of businesses and industries for economic relief is yet not over. “Unlike other countries, the Indian govt has so far been largely silent on the economic impact from the lockdown, leaving alone any measures to cushion the hit,” said a report by Emkay. For the first time in living memory, many industries and SMEs will be running on zero revenues for close to a month and even the ‘opening up’ after the lockdown is likely to be measured, lest a ‘second wave’ hits back, it added.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a press conference that the government will soon announce the economic relief package. Analysts expect measures like MSME soft loans, loan restructuring, cash transfers, etc. However, it is still unclear if the effect of Covid-19 will reach rural areas, given the lockdown and a ban on public transport may prevent the expansion of the virus to the rural areas.
Meanwhile, with a large number of daily wage earners and a high share of the unorganised sector, the travel restrictions have held the people stuck wherever they are, forcing them to pay for rent and other basic utilities, which they could have avoided if they could reach their hometown. This has come as another major impact of the lockdown since their earnings have floored.