Calibrated Lockdown……………..Does it help??
Our state has been in the grip of the second wave of COVID-19 since mid March and unrelenting. Even though the state has navigated the spike, high TPR and the looming threat of the third wave compels the government to adopt a very cautious approach in relaxing lockdown norms. The administration is on a tight tope walk, balancing between saving lives and sustaining economy. While saving lives is important, cutting down the transmission lines through lockdowns has curtailed economic activity.
The focus now has to be on the micro, small and medium enterprises. MSME sector together with other small businesses in trading, services, tourism etc. has been affected profoundly. Diminishing liquidity streams has resulted in severe financial crunch halting operations. Small and medium business is the largest employment generator and contributor to the state GDP.
The financial turmoil has resulted in salary cuts affecting the livelihood of tens and thousands of family. Governments at the centre and state should be generous with relief measures to ensure that the working capital requirement of small and medium business is taken care of. The curbs have to be relaxed at the earliest to start churning the wheels of the economy on the path to recovery.
Another alarming exposure of the second wave of COVID is the glaring inadequacy in the healthcare delivery system. With India spending only less than 2% of the GDP on health, which is among the lowest any government spends on health in the world, the catastrophe that COVID inflicted was a warning to romp up the medical infrastructure in the country. Kerala was an exception though, with better public health
infrastructure. If India aspires to be a global economic giant it is imperative that healthcare be equitable, accessible and affordable. Only healthy citizens can build a strong and vibrant nation.
On the sidelines of the havoc wrecked by the pandemic, the chamber was relentless in its efforts, drawing out plans to accelerate the economic growth of the North Malabar region in the post COVID era. The focus is on sustainable development of tourism and agriculture which no doubt will be the main pillars of economic growth in our area. On the anvil are many programs to identify and promote people’s participation in community
development. Reaching out and empowering people is the new mantra!!
While the pandemic is still at large, let us work together to revive the economy adhering to COVID protocols
– wear mask, frequently wash hands, keep safe distance & avoid crowding.
Stay Safe,…. Stay Healthy!!