India has been under a total lockdown for three consecutive weeks. The lockdown has been further extended till 3rd May 2020. With passing days, the Indian economy is facing a historical setback. Total lockdown means all manufacturing, transportation, etc, of goods, except essential commodity, has been temporarily suspended.
The big question remains, how will the Indian economy in COVID19 lockdown sustain?
The lockdown has been proved to be difficult for most of the small and medium scale industries and business. News of people being laid-off or salaries being deducted are making the rounds.
Businesses still need to bear expenses even when they are not functioning in this lockdown. They still need to pay salaries, rents, utility bills, etc.
This lockdown has been estimated to have cost 7-8 Trillion Indian Rupees (More than $100 Billion).
Other than small and medium businesses, this lockdown has proved to be the worst for the daily wage earners. There is no work anymore and so there is no money. Daily wage workers are stuck in different parts of the country and are not allowed to go back to their native places where they can have food and shelter security.
These poor daily wage workers are now dependent on government and some NGOs for their daily food supply and shelter. State governments have asked migratory workers to stay where they are and not to go back to their native cities and villages.
There is still no guarantee of the lockdown being removed after the 3rd of May, the government is taking decisions on a daily basis, as nobody knows what’s coming.
Conclusion: Though the lockdown is essential right now, the government should come up with a plan to put the economy back on track. The first big challenge remains to eliminate COVID-19 infections. The majority of India cannot afford to be infected by a virus.