This second wave of COVID-19 has done more harm than foreseen earlier. Smaller businesses including micro, small and medium enterprises are laying off more employees as demand and sales have fallen due to localised closers of business.
Bharat Mishra owner of a Pani Puri shop in Kandivali said, “My business is almost shut, because people were hesitating to eat outside food, above all this lockdown was very cruel to us, we were thrown out of the road if at all we stand with our business”. I had two people working for me on the stall, I had to tell them to quit.”
Smaller businesses including micro, small and medium enterprises are laying off more employees as demand and sales have plummeted due to localized lockdowns. Job losses could be expected to rise in May as the COVID-19 situation has not seen any significant improvement.
A Printing Press owner from Dahisar said, “There is no occasion, no business and no events, so our business is shut. We just made some I-cards for people to commute by trains, but when we realized that was a fake job, we refrained from doing the same. I had to sell one of my machines to burn fire in the kitchen. Waiting for the right time to change the fate.”
It may be noted that 98 per cent of the country is in some form of lockdown, resulting in a drop in both rural and urban employment. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, a Mumbai-based think tank, recently said that the unemployment rate in the country has touched a four-month high as over 70 lakh jobs have been impacted.
Job losses could be expected to rise in May as the COVID-19 situation has not seen any significant improvement. India is still reporting a huge volume of daily cases, indicating that lockdowns may continue for at least a month. In such a situation, joblessness in smaller industries could see a bigger spike this month. In April, the unemployment rate had touched eight per cent, rising 1.5 per cent from March.
Many small newspapers and publications houses got shut, beauty parlors to salons were shut, restaurants laid off its staff, and the entertainment industry in total mess. Side artists and dancers have gone jobless and many are pushed in online illicit jobs. From Panwala to floral markets have seen slack. Coming time would be much more hazardous for living.