The world is currently facing a global challenge. All countries are working on concrete strategies to deal with this pandemic. Coronavirus infection has reached 122 countries in the world by noon on 12 March 2020. The economy of India is characterized as a developing market economy. It is the world’s fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). India is considered as the back office of the world. But due to this pandemic economy and health are badly affected due to this pandemic. The Indian Constitution makes the provision of healthcare in India the responsibility of the state governments, rather than the central federal government. It makes every state responsible for “raising the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties”.
Challenges before economy due to Covid-19
As we know that Covid-19 is pandemic declared by WHO on 12th March 2020. There is still no vaccine for the protection of the people. Therefore the only solution which is left is a lockdown, that is also done by the government. The various challenges are:-
According to the latest report of UNESCO, schools are closed in all countries of the world due to the threat of Covid-19. This is affecting the education of 157 crore students of 191 countries of the world.
Goods and services are not easily available and the prices are rising because demand is more than the supply. But now we are in such a situation where there is not possible to maintain the market failure by global regulation.
Economic continuity which mobilizes the demand and supply curve is badly affected due to closure of the market. Many labours such as construction workers, dihadi labours and cleansers ( who earn on daily basis) loss their jobs due to lockdown and disturb the informal economy of the country.
Small scale enterprises and businesses collapse because they suffered loss continuously due to complete lockdown. There is a short supply of critical medical products such as n95 mask, sanitizers and protective gear etc due to the spread of this pandemic.
Out of the three main sectors of the Indian economy, two sectors i.e. service and production are closed. This sector contributes 70.6% in the GDP and 43.9% labour force get employment by this sector.
Strategies for the improvement of the existing system in India
The farming sector employs half of the country’s labour force but it has the lowest participation of 17% in the GDP. The government needs urgent steps to allocate transport and other logistical support to move the crops from the fields directly to the warehouses with the help of the private sector. The supply chain of milk products, poultry, tea, rubber plantation and so on will resume as usual by adopting the measures of social distancing. Some of the main Agriculture functional activities such as farm machinery, horticulture, mandis, repair shops etc must open to resuming agriculture sectors completely.
A) Increase Awareness of ICT Programmes in Agriculture-
In rural India, though the communication tools like mobile, television, radio etc have increased in number, is not reflected in the use and utilization of ICT programmes like Kissan Call Centre, Kissan SMS, Exclusive agriculture television radio programmes and so on. So, Government, NGO and Private organizations should create awareness about it.
B) Budgetary Support-
Central and State government should give exclusive budgetary allocation for the development of agriculture through ICT tools. This will also increase the Research and Development activities in assisting the rural population with better tools and improved knowledge base. This should be aiming at financial support for sustainable agriculture development through loans by Kishan credit card.
C) e –Nam portal-
National Agriculture Market Platform is one of an initiative to sell their produce directly from the warehouses and collection centres established by Farmer public Organization (FPOs). It enables farmers to sell their products without physically come to mandis on e-platform.
D) Relief for Kharif crops:-
All the State Governments must ensure that the farmers should be provided with the best quality of seeds and manure at reasonable rates for the sowing of Kharif crops by the help of panchayat societies.
Universal basic income-
UBI is the best solution to reform the economy in a way that it protects the informal sector which is the backbone of our country. According to the data of ILO, Nearly 81% of the workforce in India are employed in the informal sector. India’s cleaners, household workers, and construction workers had irregular work and were only paid for the days they worked. These labours keep only two to three days money in their pockets for livelihood. Therefore, the Government should have to provide a basic stipend to these labours by DBT(direct bank transfer) for their livelihood.
DBT directly transfer basic income in their accounts by the help of Jan Dhan account without Red-tapism. The Ministry of Labour also advises utilising Rs 52,000 crore which is deposited in cess fund for the irregular workers. Through UBI, approx. 3.5 crore dihadi labours(who earn on daily basis) of the country will get a livelihood. Therefore, immediate implementation of a UBI would help to maintain the informal economy of India.
A) Online access to the library-
Online libraries help the scientific society since they act as a reservoir for the storage of important research data, information and findings. In this Covid-19 pandemic, it leads to being the saviour for students.
B) Potentials practices & strategies-
One, immediate measures are essential to ensure continuity of learning in government schools and universities. Open-source digital learning solutions and Learning Management Software should be adopted so teachers can conduct teaching online. Many more initiatives just like that should be taken by the government.
C) Encourage online competitions-
Competitions offer a chance for participants to gain substantial experience, showcase skills, analyse and evaluate outcomes and uncover personal aptitude. Competitions also encourage students to adopt innovative techniques and develop their ideas and skills. At this period of time, it will definitely lead towards the development of the student.
Loan & grants to small scale businessman–
The government should provide loans to the small businessman at 0%rate of interest for saving small enterprises from their collapse. If you are thinking that doing this will ruin the bank or put the bank in loss then we can take a live example of Spain. Spain provides a guarantee to a hundred euro to the bank, so that bank can easily provide the loan to the businessman without charging any interest.
The same thing can be done by the Indian government by providing the guarantee of 100$ loans for MSME. The most important thing is that if 20 per cent of the people didn’t return their EMI of the loan then 80 per cent of it can be easily returned in a year as soon as the money comes in the market.
The main purpose of this measure is to maintain liquidity in the market. The functioning of enterprises can avoid the problem of insolvency. It will also assist in maintaining the level of employment and to bring the business back on track.
A) Involvement of the private sector for speed and scale-
Private Companies which holds the manufacturing capabilities can repurpose their manufacturing plants for contributing the supply chain of critical medical products such as n95 mask, sanitizers and protective gear etc. As we know that Wine and PVC pipe companies can easily make hand sanitizers and protective gear respectively. Therefore, the government will have to give guidelines to these companies to reduce the short supply.
B) Shelters for migrants–
Immediately, measures will be announced to provide shelter for the migrant population. All the government buildings like college, the school should be used as a protective home.
Distribution channels must be strong–
The distributor channel must be strong. All the NGO’s should do a collaboration with religious institutions & provide foods to the needy.
Although India has a number of legal mechanisms to support public health measures in an epidemic situation, they are not being addressed under a single legislation. Many legislations have been made by the parliament like- The National Security Act, 1980, Disaster Management Act,2005 & the Epidemic Act,1897. Issues like the definition of epidemic disease, territorial boundaries, ethics and human rights principles, empowerment of officials, punishment, etc., need more deliberations and warrant a relook. Strict laws should be made but apart from making it, proper implementation of that law at the ground level is the need of the time.
Summary of other suggestions
- Innovation and technology also update and inventions must be done as per the needs like – initiative towards making Indian products.
- Monetary help to the poor people by making more schemes like Mgnrega & Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which helps them to attain the basic standard of living.
- Simplification of the GST must be done, all the taxes rates must be reduced so that taxpayers can have relief.
- India has a chance to replace China as a global economic leader post in this India is holding the greatest opportunity to make the economy strong & to rebuild the GDP.
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