COVID-19 affected the entire world making no difference between the rich and the poor, between the strong and poor nations. Wealth could not avoid the catastrophe and could not also guarantee a good life.
Well laid rules of economics were tested. The well-established health care systems of advanced nations were also severely tested and found wanting. In all, the world order was severely tested to the core. No country howsoever mighty and wealthy was spared from its debilitating effects.
B. IMPACT ON ECONOMY:
The onset and spread of the disease were so severe that many of the countries went into forced lock down of the economic activity, in order to prevent the spread of the fatal disease. The forced lock down affected industries across board and resulted in severe shortfall of revenue, both to the industry and the Governments. Employments were lost, salaries were cut, business was lost along with mounting interest on borrowed capital and the absence of a timeline for the resumption of economic activity.
It made for a very alarming and bleak future. The economic activity throughout the world was severely affected. In addition to this, Governments had to prepare their economy on a scale of war to provide healthcare which cost them a bomb.
India, being a developing country, was also severely tested. Industrial production came to a standstill and our healthcare system was also stretched but due to the pragmatic policies of the Central Government headed by Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the catastrophic effects of the rampaging pandemic was arrested to a great deal. We should not lose sight of the fact of our huge population and not so developed healthcare system prevalent. Our economy was also severely affected.
C.IMPACT ON INDIAN ECONOMY:
As was the norm throughout the world, Indian Economy also bore the brunt of the pandemic. There was a very drastic shortfall in industrial production, retail trade, loss of employment, realty sector saw a downward spiral. Tourism sector was also severely affected. There was loss of employment, reduction in salary, thereby severely affecting their loan repayments, which had a bearing on banking industry also. This is borne out by the following statistics:
|Month||2020 (cr)||2019 (cr)|
|Quarter||2020 (cr)||2019 (cr)|
|Total Advance Tax Collected|
|Unemployment Rate||2020 (%)||2019 (%)|
The effect of the pandemic was visible in all the parameters shown above.
D.MEASURES ADOPTED BY GOVERNMENT TO STIMULATE ECONOMY.
The Central Government was seized of the damage caused by the pandemic and brought forth various stimulus measures to kickstart the economy and to help all sections of population. Various measures brough by the government were as under:
|Overall Stimulus Provided by|
Aatmanirbhar Bharat Package
Details of support given in Part-1
Details of support extended in Part-2.
|1||Free Food Grain Supply to Migrant workers for 2 months||3,500|
|2||Interest Subvention for MUDRA Shishu Loans||1,500|
|3||Special Credit Facility to Street Vendors||5,000|
|5||Additional Emergency Working Capital through NABARD||30,000|
|6||Additional Credit through KCC||2,00,000|
Details of support extended in Part-3
|1||Food Micro Enterprises||10,000|
|2||Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana||20,000|
|3||TOP to TOTAL: Operation Greens||500|
|4||Agri Infrastructure Fund||1,00,000|
|5||Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund||15,000|
|6||Promotion of Herbal Cultivation||4,000|
Details of support extended in Part-4 & Part-5
|1||Viability Gap Funding||8,100|
|2||Additional MGNEREGS allocation||40,000|
Support extended in 2nd Stimulus package.
|1||Boosts for Aatmanirbhar Manufacturing – Production Linked Incentives||1,45,980|
|2||Housing for All – PM Awas Yojana – Urban||18,000|
|3||National Investment and Infrastructure Fund||6,000|
|4||Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana||6,000|
|6||Domestic Defence Equipment and Industrial Infrastructure||10,200|
|7||Boost for Rural Employment||10,000|
|8||R&D Grand for COVID Suraksha – Indian Vaccine development||900|
|9||Boost for Project Exports – Support for EXIM Bank||3,000|
The stimulus provided by the Central Government helped a great deal in kick starting an economy which was on a downward spiral because of the effects of Corona Pandemic. It covered all sections of the society.
Indian economy is an economy blessed by God in various ways. Since India is a spiritual country, many festivals mark its calendar throughout the year. Starting from Sankranti, Ayudha pooja, Navaratri, Holi, Deepavali, Christmas, Eid, Bakrid and the like dot its calendar. These festivals push demand for consumer goods ranging from clothes, jewellery, gems, realty, cars, and consumer goods.
During to the lock down measures being gradually withdrawn, the last quarter of the year saw record sales generated from all these sectors put together, which contributed in a big way in the upsurge of Income Tax and GST collections. The sales were in a big way, driven by the pent-up demand further lubricated by festivals. This ensures all year-round demand for consumer goods which drives our economy compared to other economies.
Even the software industry and defence industry posted good gains. Since the lock down was progressively withdrawn the movement of men and material started which contributed in a big way in collection of VAT on petroleum products which helped in Government funding many of its people friendly schemes. Auto, cement and steel sector drove the growth.
The growth was also influenced by the major infra push given by the Central Government.
Some of the key parameters are given below:
1. The industrial sector as per Index of Industrial Production (IIP) registered a growth of 0.6 per cent in 2019-20 (April-November) as compared to 5.0 % during 2018-19 (April-November).
2. Fertilizer sector achieved a growth of 4.0 % during 2019-20 (April-November) as compared to (-) 1.3 per cent during 2018-19 (April-November).
3. Steel sector achieved a growth of 5.2 % during 2019-20 (April-November) as compared to 3.6 % during 2018-19 (April-4. Total telephone connections in India touched 119.43 crore as on September 30, 2019.
4. The installed capacity of power generation has increased to 3,64,960 MW as on October 31, 2019 from 3,56,100 MW as on March 31, 2019.
5. Report of the Task Force on National Infrastructure Pipeline released on 31.12.2019 has projected total infrastructure investment of Rs. 102 lakh crores during the period FY 2020 to 2025 in India.
8. On the bright side, FDI into services sector has witnessed a recovery in early 2019-20 (Source Press Information Bureau handout).
9. The turnaround is also backed by the following figures of taxes collected:
|Month||2020 (in Cr)||2019 (in Cr)|
|Month||2020 (in Crs)||2019 (in Crs)|
|YOY Growth (%)||Apr-20||Jun-20||Sep-20||Dec-20|
|Avg. E Waybill||-83.6||-12.7||9.6||13.2|
|Gross GST Collections||-71.6||-9||3.9||11.6|
Source: HDFC MF Yearbook
|2020 (till Nov)||2019|
|Registered during the Year||40,759||24,927|
By reducing the rate of Income Tax and the rates of TDS more money was put in the hands of people in order to help them spend more and to use it to their necessities.
A study of the various parameters stated above leads us to the conclusion that the Indian economy is on a resurgent mode and happy times are ahead. The bad times of the pandemic may be behind us as the economy surges ahead in the immediate future. All it needs is a bit of help by a friendly budget and pragmatic reduction of rates in GST. Both the retail trade and the heavy industries segment are set for a good time led by spending on high value items in defence industry.