The spread of COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be the worst nightmare the Indian economy has experienced so far. After the economic slowdown of 2008, the current scenario presents the country with a difficult choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods. The country now faces a crucial question: Can the economy be revived during this adversity?
While facing the unseen foe, it is important to balance out both aspects. Instead of choosing between the stark options of lives and livelihoods, the government must find a third way out. The country cannot afford to remain in a state of lockdown forever. The objective of saving lives will ultimately fail if people lose their livelihoods.
India lacks a robust distribution system that can reach to even the poorest of poor – these people are often left out of the distribution system. What the country needs today is a trade-off that covers all the aspects in equal proportions. Resuming economic activities is what the country needs today.
The risk of COVID-19 spreading looms over every sector. However, what the country can do in such a situation is starting with the least vulnerable areas and industrial sectors, gradually moving towards the most vulnerable ones. The task, however, is going to be an even more difficult one than containing the spread of the virus.
The health of the economy resides in the health of the people. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to preserve the wellness of all citizens. A crucial element in achieving this goal is promoting social harmony, so that the people so not lose trust on the government and law enforcement authorities.
The next step should be resuscitating the economy. The fiscal deficit numbers are definitely going to be ugly, but nevertheless the government must convince the investors of the necessity of keeping the economy together. In order to revive its economy, India needs to change the existing patterns in decision-making, which would, in turn, be an indicator of the strength of the country.