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Million and more Indian jobs at stake

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Image Courtesy: PTI

Maharashtra state is extending lockdown till 31st May, to control Corona virus cases but the economy has already weakens due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, millions of jobs, across sectors, are on the line. So far, India’s estimated 120 million migrant labourers, who work for daily wages, have taken the brunt of the crisis. Unable to afford rent or food in cities and, with public transport shut down, thousands of them have marched the hundreds of miles to their homes in the surroundings. 100 million and more Indian jobs will be at risk during and after the COVID-19 lockdown stage. From end-March, most companies have resorted to one of these three decisions — sacking people, asking employees to go on indefinite leave without pay, and slashing salaries by as much as 85 per cent.

More than 75% of the industry’s revenues are sourced from exports to large markets like North America and Europe. The spread of coronavirus in these two markets will create ripple effects in the Indian IT industry. Indian IT will witness revenue growth of 3-5% in the financial year 2021, compared with 7.7% in FY-20.

If we talk about media, many prominent media houses have sanctioned layoffs or mandatory leave without pay. While the Indian Express and Business Standard newspapers have announced pay cuts, others are also taking steps to curb costs. On April 10, 15 employees of News Nation, a Hindi news national channel, were asked to leave with immediate effect.

A senior staff member from the sacked team of News Nation told AV, “We have asked to leave quoting the slowdown from coronavirus outbreak, I have taken home and car on EMI, my children are small and I have day to day challenges and we have been asked not to come to the office without any prior notice.”

On April 13, digital news website The Quint asked about 45 employees to go on indefinite leave without pay. The organisation faced “a truly unprecedented situation… in these circumstances, it is clear that our revenues will be under severe strain over the next 3-4 months,” said an email sent by its HR department to staff. In Mumbai many tabloids got closed, vernacular newspapers are shut permanently. Many prominent media houses have sanctioned layoffs or mandatory leave without pay.

Similarly, in the extreme scenarios now painted, there seems to be no hope for the travel and hospitality segments. Most experts feel they will be decimated with job losses, bankruptcies and shutdowns. Let’s also look at the hopeful side. There are tens of thousands of people stranded across the globe — home or away, at their origins or midway. There will also be untold thousands who would now wish to visit their family — after not having been able to be with them in times of deep uncertainty. People may be afraid of travel, but they may also want to move, as if freed from prison. Post-lockdown, the sales of air tickets may zoom, as may their prices; the related spike in demand may shore up the hospitality sector too.

The situation in agriculture is more complex. The overall amount of work that needs to be done is, roughly speaking, constant within a short time-frame — but this is a dynamic, mobile field of employment that faces unique bottlenecks now. Farmers are sitting on a bumper rabi crop, although there are indications of a 15-20 per cent loss in wheat production due to untimely rain. Every sector is hit by lock down and India’s economy got crashed to all lows.

Also Read:

Sinking Economy of India: Myths and Mystery

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