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Niti Ayog’s CEO at an virtual session said that lockdown has severely affected India’s supply chain

As India enters the 5th day of the extended national lockdown, several experts have
raised concerns regarding the economic consequences that will follow the decision of
complete quarantine and halting all production activities.

“COVID-19 and the Future of Work Virtual Session attended by top leaders”

During the early weeks of the nationwide lockdown, the Vice-Chairperson of Niti Ayog
Dr. Rajiv Kumar had stated that the country must expect the GDP to drop to zero or
even negative as the entire world will be thrown into a global recession and that India
will have to suffer in this scenario until the early months of June.

However, with the extension of the lockdown till 3 May 2020, the economic situation
seems to worsen further despite the Prime Minister’s promise to allow relaxation to an
extent in certain areas to allow some economic activities to resume their functioning.
As per the statement given by the CEO of Niti Ayog, Amitabh Kant during a virtual
session, the COVID-19 national quarantine has massively disrupted India’s supply
chain. In the session which was on ‘COVID-19 and the Future of Work’, he further
added that the pandemic has created a ‘unique challenge’ that is complex and
unpredictable. “We are passing through a very turbulent time. Our supply chain will get
massively disrupted,” he said.

World Bank Director (India) Junaid Kamal Ahmad also took part in this virtual session
and stated that it is important that the State changes the way they work in developing
countries. He also added that the Ayushman Bharat Scheme which aims to provide
almost 40 percent free healthcare coverage to the poorer sections of the population
was a great step, but in the coming years, it will be imperative to ensure that India
goes beyond this step.

Teamlease Chairman Manish Sabharwal said, “Work from home has provided
continuity but also has to ensure productivity. In the long run, we have to ensure that
remote working is beneficial for all.”

“Positive outlook”

Also participating in the virtual session was NASSCOM President Debjani Gosh who
added that the COVID-19 pandemic would forever change the traditional workspaces,
provide a huge boost to the gig economy and ensure a better balance in the
workspace which would aim towards guaranteeing more female workforce

While the Niti Ayog CEO Mr. Kant had stated that the lockdown has adversely
impacted the supply chain of the country, Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Munja had stated during the conference that India now has the potential to take over the supply
chain of the world.

“We are well-positioned, rated as better managers of the COVID-19 crisis. We have
the ability to attract more ideas and talent, all we have to do is repurpose ourselves,”
Mr. Munjal said comparing the rest of the world with India’s current position.

“Economic relaxation”

As positive COVID-19 cases crossed 1,200 it is difficult to comment on the country’s
handling of the situation especially because of the lack of testing which is preventing
the true numbers to be brought forward. The virtual session highlighted the plight of
the economic sectors during this period and brought forward new ideas as to how the
workspace could be reinvented with new ideas and strategies. Many are hoping and
looking forward to the opening of certain industrial areas to allow some relief to the
manufacturing sectors and reduce the burden of the aftermath that the economy would
suffer in the post-lockdown period.

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