Saturday, July 31, 2021
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PM should assure financial stability to self-employed people

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all states to prepare their plan on exiting the lockdown by defining districts as red, green and orange based on the level of infection. He emphasized on no worry on economy front, because the lockdown had saved thousands of lives in the past one and a half months. The PM asked states to draw up a plan to exit the lockdown. Because common public feel that the Lockdown is not a good measure, may be for few days it is fine but on 3 may it will be 40 days over of lockdown in India. America is an economic nation. They know the value of economic and commercial activities. Long-time lockdown hampers the nation. The most loss suffered Is by middle class people. They don’t get any assistance from government. More the lockdown period. More difficult it would be to cope up for general public. All commercial and economic activity should be resumed with rules and regulations. Mask wearing, maintaining social distancing and isolation far as possible should be followed. Only sitting at home with no earnings is not required. People even require money to fight corona virus as well as their lives ahead. BJP gets 1,76,000 crores from RBI to stabilize economy on September 2019, April 2020-BJP gets another 50,000 crores to stabilize economy. So, BJP getting funds from RBI to show India is stable. Actually, speaking its people’s money that is saving BJP government but government has not rendered any support to small time business groups who were back bone of state and national economy. For example, one small cobbler or a beautician, they are fetching their livings and also paying GST to all other taxes to government, without taking any financial obligations. These people are huge in numbers, they earn and save in bank and at the end banks are emptied by governments. Also, these are the people who have suffered huge losses during corona lockdown. Government has no planning for rendering hands to such sectors. No plans for regulating small self-sustaining, business groups and self-employed people. Just by saying Indian economy is fine, how Pm can assure financial stability to these people? Its more than individual states, centre should tell people of India how they are going to render hands to all after lockdown. We should lock down the Corona, not ourselves. Are the doctors and nurses locking themselves down? What about the vegetable vendor? What about police? There are many such entities working 24/7 knowing the threat, but they are taking precautions too. You can ask for Maintain hygiene, wear masks, make sanitizer available at every shop, at every crossing. But having no concrete action plans, except dialogues and quotations will not solve problem of common public. central government’s job is to take care of people who are suffering from day one ever since BJP won elections. May its demonetization or sudden closures of banks and GST and other slabs furthermore the lockdown. Middle class families are suffering from all sides. PM says, our economy is good. Then why the government is passing the economy burden heavily on the salaried class people to fight the Corona pandemic by the way of freezing the DA and deducting one day of salary per month till March 2021. No country in the world has done this so far. Many small businesses are shut due to lockdown. They are unable to afford to pay salaries. They are randomly firing all employees. This is what is happening around and if lockdown continues People will die of starvation.

Almost all small businesses are at risk of collapsing within the next month as they struggle to secure emergency cash meant to support them through the coronavirus lockdown. Those concerns included some banks’ use of personal guarantees in the form of savings and mortgages to secure lending to small businesses under the government’s hastily formulated business interruption loans scheme. After lockdown there will be huge consequences for employment and also our ability to grow the economy when this pandemic has passed. If businesses collapse, they won’t be able to ensure our economy can recover. These small businesses will be lost forever.

India decided to lock down every human being from last 40 days in their home to contain and eliminate this risk of virus transmission. This meant that almost entire production system also got locked down. You need human labour to produce goods and services in factories and establishments and to deliver these to the consumers. Even the most automated plant cannot operate without some labour. India exempted only essential services initially. After three days, realizing that agriculture produce, including food on farms, would turn into waste (rabi harvesting was going on at many places), the government exempted farm work from lockdown. Now the government has permitted non-essential goods to be transported but due to lack of truck drivers and manpower the entire market is stand still. A good chunk of economy is still locked out. Mining is mostly closed. Construction is totally stopped. Most factories which produce automobiles, machinery, consumer durables and so on are shuttered. Millions of small factories and enterprises are non-functional. Almost all of the retail trade, transport, travel and hospitality businesses are down and out. Construction, small businesses and service establishments producing these goods and services employed crores of workers. These workers are suddenly out of job. More than 2/3rd of the production system has either stopped production totally or scaled down substantially. On an average, about 8-9 percent of GDP is produced in a month. GDP is another name for the total national income (aggregate of all household income). As we are growing at about 5% a year currently, a month of closure of 2/3rd of production system is enough to make our GDP growth turn into negative. If workers receive even 50% of this income, loss of wages can be of the order of Rs. 7 to 8 lakh Crore. This loss of wages is a matter of life and death for most of the labour in informal sector. There is no wonder than crores of migrant workers are desperately trying to go back from their places of work to their only safety net- their villages where they might have some land to work upon and shelter to live. The measures to save human lives from COVID-19 epidemic can result into making the economy a casualty- making both the nation and her people poor. If the COVID-19 risk to the economy is not managed properly, India might see crores of people becoming jobless and fall back in poverty.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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