When the economy was already under the burden of achieving a USD 5 trillion of GDP by 2024 through a projected growth rate of 9% per year, a pandemic hit it so hard that India has seen lowest figures for growth rate in three decades since India’s economic liberalization in the 1990s.
The first case of the COVID-19 pandemic in India was reported on 30 January 2020 and rising the toll since then. The outbreak has been declared an epidemic in almost 73 countries worldwide taking a toll on lives of lakhs of people. What’s even worse is only lockdown can prevent the spread until any vaccine is made. What awaits us next is even larger – an economic crisis. The pandemic has said to hit the economy even worse than the Indian health system.
With putting almost 82 districts in India in a complete lockdown since 23rd March till date, Indian economy has definitely taken a back seat. Choosing life over livelihood is a good sign from the country towards its citizens. But is surely not for its economy. What economy has seen in these times is a combination of- unemployment, lay-offs, reduced operations, reduced income of households, stock market crash, supply chains under stress and much more. Where some eminent GOI officials warn India for a negative growth rate, we all must prepare ourselves for the worst.
Some of the very prominent examples of this economic crisis is the recent stock market crash.
We might get back at normal after a couple of months or even learn to live with this pandemic, but the economic impacts will slow down the growth rate and further calling this pandemic an economic emergency, rather than a medical emergency.
Where people are already concerned about the USD 5 trillion economy in the coming five years, our PM did not take a backseat yet on this target.
On 12th of May while addressing the nation, PM focused on the opportunity for economic self reliance- ‘Atama nirbhar Bharat’. Where it is important to save lives it is also important to save the livelihood. Boycotting the international brands and paving a way for our local manufacturers would increase their market share and thereby will be a step closer towards their revival. This would definitely take plenty of time and efforts from the customer and the manufacturer end, but if successful, will boost the economy some or the other day.
The 5triliion economy target was said to be quite optimistic and unimaginably ambitious when it was announced, but for now, is even more impossible. Such pandemics happen very rare, but when they come, they have a holistic impact on the lives of people and on the economy, equally.
With the daily rising death tolls, several GDP estimates signal a deep recession. Also calling it the worst, till date. Government revenue has also been severely affected on account of non-collection of taxes from the citizens. Where both- the citizens as well as the government find ways for cost cutting- it is a signal for the economy that a major crisis awaits.
People are eyeing the aspirations for Make in India to be definitely on the top in India’s plan for its economic recovery taking it a step closer towards combating the epidemic.