With effect from March 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide complete lockdown. It was with the intent to contain the spread of COVID-19. It brought as much as 70 percent of economic activity, exports, investment, and discretionary consumption to a standstill. Only essential goods and services were allowed to operate. It includes utility services, agriculture, mining, some IT and financial services and public services.
The world’s biggest lockdown has stopped trains, suspended flights, restricted movement of vehicles and people, and shut a majority of the factories and businesses. Analysts and industry bodies said that the world’s biggest lockdown may have cost the Indian economy Rs 7-8 lakh crore during the 21-day period.
Centrum Institutional Research states the possibility of low single-digit growth for FY2021 (April 2020 to March 2021) for the country. It further adds that the pandemic came at the most inopportune time for India. After bold fiscal/monetary measures, its economy was showing signs of recovery.
Earlier this month, as per the estimations of Acuite Ratings & Research Ltd., the lockdown will cost the Indian economy almost USD 4.64 billion (over Rs 35,000 crore) every day. It also said that the entire 21-day lockdown will result in a GDP loss of almost USD 98 billion (about Rs 7.5 lakh crore).
The sectors that are most severely impacted by the shut down are real estate activities, hotels, transport, restaurant, etc.
Naveen Gupta, Secretary-General, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) states that during the first 15 days of lockdown, the accumulated losses to truckers were about Rs 35,200 crore. It comes to an average Rs 2,200 loss to per truck per day. AIMTC is the umbrella body for transporters and truckers. It represents about 93 lakh transporters and truckers.
National Real Estate Development Council puts the loss at Rs 1 lakh crore in the sector. It is a body of realtors.
The Confederation of All India Traders estimates that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the second half of March, the losses incurred by the retail trade of the country were a massive USD 30 billion.
The Indian retail sector comprises of 70 million small medium and big traders. It employs 45 crore people. It does a monthly business of approximately USD 70 billion.
On the concerns about the fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak, a host of international agencies has cut India’s economic growth estimate for FY21.