While the nation remains under a 21-day lockdown bringing economic activity to a grinding halt, an industry body has suggested that some businesses must resume operations soon to aid the economy.
While the nation remains under a 21-day lockdown bringing economic activity to a grinding halt, an industry body has suggested that some businesses must resume operations soon to aid the economy. “Several selective but key sectors of trade and industry, including retail, essential manufacturing, large construction and infrastructure projects, to name a few, should be allowed to resume operations,” ASSOCHAM said in a statement on Tuesday while emphasising on social distancing norms and other precautionary measures. The country has been under a three-week lockdown as the country races to contain the spread of the virus.
The industry body has also suggested that the migrant laborers available within states must be motivated to pick up work based on their skill-set. This will help in the time when there is a sudden surge in demand when businesses resume after the lockdown, ASSOCHAM said. The lockdown is already taking massive toll on economic activities as businesses have come to a standstill. The spread of the coronavirus is also posing a risk to employment.
Meanwhile, the retail sector in the country is especially hit due to the lockdown situation and except grocery stores, those dealing in garments, electronics, mobile phones, furniture, etc. are closed. “Non-grocery/food retailers are reporting 80% to 100% reduction in sales. Even retailers of essential items are facing losses as they aren’t allowed to sell non-essential items, which would bring them higher margins,” the Retailers Association of India said on Tuesday. The retailers are now reeling under financial pressures with severe liquidity challenges. This may also lead to massive unemployment, the report added. Over half of the respondents surveyed by RAI also said that it will take them six to twelve months to recover the losses sustained in the businesses. 80% of the respondents also said that they do not expect to earn profits by August 2020.