Ficci Survey Suggests Revival in Economic Activity
Despite new hope as states resume unlock mode, vaccination must remain a priority
A new survey has suggested that with states across the country gradually easing lockdown rules due to the recent declining number of Covid-19 cases, companies are becoming hopeful of better performance in the next six to twelve months – which might be indicative of improvement in the nation’s economic activity.
About 60 per cent of 212 companies that participated in the survey conducted by Ficci and Dhruva Advisors said that their businesses were impacted greatly due to the state-level lockdowns.
With different parts of the country under different sets of restrictions, and general consumer sentiment impacted due to the ferocity of the second wave of Covid-19, companies witnessed an evident dip in demand, the survey report added.
The survey confirmed that the second wave left not only urban areas but also rural places hard-pressed for demand.
"While the impact of the second wave-induced lockdowns on businesses is clearly visible, there is a silver lining on the horizon...With different states getting into the unlock mode, there are immediate indications of improvement in economic activity," the survey said.
Ficci said that with the number of new cases ebbing and states getting into the unlock mode, there is hope that business and economic activities will regain normalcy in the months ahead.
"Even as we see signs of improvement, we must prepare ourselves well for the subsequent waves... Clearly, vaccination at scale has to be the priority if we have to beat Covid-19 and put it behind us," it added.
For dealing with any subsequent waves, it suggested five measures -- ramping up investments in healthcare infrastructure in smaller cities and rural areas; maintaining a sufficient pool of essential medicines; continuing with newly created temporary facilities; strengthening testing infrastructure, and setting up a national facility for vaccine manufacturing with government funding.
The survey also suggested setting up vaccination facilities at airports, railway stations, bus depots, schools and village panchayat ghars; organizing mobile vans that can undertake vaccination in slums, rural areas and planning for vaccination of the elderly and people with disabilities, who have limited mobility, at home.