It has been more than 45 days of Lockdown and we are nowhere near reaching a plateau, on the contrary we are now witnessing an upward trend. To put it in perspective ; the day the Janta Curfew was announced there were 403 COVID+ cases in India and now that number stands at 53000 and counting.
The economy has crumbled. The last modified lockdown has started opening up the economy but we still have a long way to go. The livelihoods are lost; the lives are being lost because the doctors are too scared to treat patients; millions are on the roads trying to reach their birthplaces.
After the man-made tragedy like that of Demonetisation and GST, the Central Government is still walking in dark alleys of lockdown and Corona to find a foothold.
To see how this government has tried to navigate the first two catastrophes, we need to see how they behaved in them. Below is the no of notifications/ clarifications that the government issued during their implementation:
This government has had many meetings with the Finance Ministry but yet to announce a stimulus package. Between the clapping, the Lighting of the Lamp and the showering of petals; we are still awaiting an economic relief. In absence of which some of the SME’s, MSME’s and others will shut shop forever. If the government cant work one out, take the help of experts for in difficult times its OK to ask for help.
For some who will question the intent of this article I would like to say:
Yes I am a Congressman and the role of opposition is to ask questions.
Yes my hardships are nowhere near what most of my other countrymen are facing.
Yes I am willing to stand united as one but that doesn’t stop me from questioning an elected government.
As a Citizen of this country questioning an elected Government doesn’t equate with questioning my Country.
In the end request you to Stay Safe, maintain Social/Physical distancing, boost your immunity and Pray to God to give us strength to Passover these troubled times.
The mighty Corona Virus is on a war path devastating everything that it touches moving from city to city, country to country leaving behind mayhem both in terms of human loss and economic meltdown. However I am sure that it is matter of time that we will surmount this devil with our resilience, scientific progress and more importantly by community outreach or rather lack of it, thru social distancing.
Places of worship closed, travel restrictions, closed airports, countries on lockdown etc. governments across the globe are taking whatever it takes to curtail its spread. On an individual level we also need to keep the social distancing, to flatten the curve of its spread and while all of us do this it will have a massive hit on the economy.
For starters the tourism, airline and hospitality have taken a massive blow and there is no immediate relief in sight. It is only matter of time that the effect will be seen across industries. There will be some who will be able to take this hit while for some it will cripple them. Some will grow back but for some it will be a death knell financially.
While the government is able to pay its employees in spite of shutdowns same cannot be said about private enterprises. Thus I request the government whether of the Local Bodies, State or the Central level to ease out the financial burden of its citizens to help them cope up with this crisis.
Here are few of my suggestions to tide over this Economic Tsunami:
- The Local Administrative Bodies i.e the Municipal Bodies and Zila Parishads defer the collection of taxes for at least a quarter.
- There should be no late fees charges for the deposit or filing of returns for GST or Income Tax. However the government should pass on these benefits to small business owners like shopkeepers, SME etc.
- Hospitality Industry should be given Tax Rebate and concessions for 2 Financial Years.
- To ensure that no hoarding takes place of essential food items, medicines and items of daily necessities.
- The citizens should be given the option to pay their bills of essential utilities in installments.
- New academic sessions will be starting soon and this entails a major outflow for a middle class family and keeping this in mind the education department should take some steps to ease this burden.
- Worst hit are going to be daily wage earners; government should ensure opening affordable, subsidized kitchens to ensure proper nutrition to them.
- Loan servicing and Interest for SME’s, Home Loans should be kept in abeyance with no penal action.
- CSR funds should be mandatorily be used to fight COVID-19 and ease out financial discomfort.
These are some recommendations, I am sure there are better suggestions and views to fight and shield us against CORONA!!
PS: Last but not the least: – No sitting government should be destabilized and no No Confidence Motion moved against them. Let them handle the CORONA and not waste time in safeguarding their law makers.