Restarting lives is going to be even more difficult for everyoneIt has taken less than eighty days of inaction in most parts of the world to bring the entire world to a standstill. The European economies are talking about a 5% reduction in GDP. The scenario in India is totally different. Even the RBI has openly admitted to the possibility of negative growth.
The Utopian dreams spun by the Finance Minister of India are unrealistic, to say the least. Take for example the tourism sector, which offers both direct and indirect employment to lakhs of people. Most Indians would have heard about the majestic Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists flock to it every day. It would surprise anyone to know that the turnover of the small food shops that open at around 6 PM every day and go on till around 4 AM the next day, earning Madurai the nickname of "thoonga nagaram"( the city that never sleeps) is a minimum of 250 crores per annum. These shops also offer non-vegetarian food and this is a big hit with the foreigners. If one thought about hygiene, it was quite okay as well as the food preparations were unique.
Today, all that is gone. Everything is closed. Even if the temple opens, international travel is still restricted. As far as domestic tourists are concerned, the trickle can start only after September 2020, possibly from the surrounding districts. However, only those who offer cheaper substitute food at very reasonable prices will make money. Across the nation, cheaper food, cheaper travel packages, cheaper clothes, cheaper footwear, and what have you will be back in business. The banks will be flooded with money and the takers will be less. The interest rates might drop to 5% for senior citizens, which will make their lives even more miserable.
No business worth it's salt will be profitable unless there is a demand. Our friendly neighborhood tailors are selling the cloth masks that are washable and sold for just Rs.10/-. There are millions of takers. So, every one of us should be like these tailors looking for markets to literally sell our skills. Those unemployed will get some jobs at low wages and join the ranks of the underemployed. And the poor souls from the BIMARU States, who are always told that English is their enemy number one for selfish reasons by the most selfish politicians of North India, will be back again to do the unskilled jobs in hotels, lodges, hospitals, small factories and even in agriculture, after Jan 2021, when even our great Prime Minister can no longer talk about the virus but about the economy.
We are in the worst of times......