FICCI-Kerala opposes further Covid-19 lockdown in State

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on July 27, 2020 Published on July 27, 2020

After the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), it is now the turn of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to oppose a further lockdown in the State. The Kerala State Council of the industry body says that such a move would prove to be a fatal blow to the State’s economy.

Quoting the estimates of the State Planning Board, MG George Muthoot, Chairman, FICCI Kerala State Council, pointed out that the State’s economy has suffered a loss of ₹80,000 crore due to the nationwide lockdown. The daily wage loss by self-employed and casual workers during the lockdown period was around ₹15,000 crore. The loss in the manufacturing sector, such as from in trade, hotels and restaurants, has been estimated at around ₹2.17-lakh crore. The total loss in the agriculture sector, including in plantations crops, is estimated at ₹21,570.75 crore. The loss for agricultural labourers due to wage loss is estimated at about ₹200.30 crore, he said.

All major sectors, such as tourism, IT, real estate, logistics, education, retail trade, and plantations, among others, have suffered heavily following the lockdown. The MSME sector, the backbone of Kerala’s economy, is virtually struggling for survival, forcing many units to shut down.

Considering all these factors, FICCI has urged the government not to take the extreme decision of imposing a second round of state-wide lockdown in the larger interest of the economy.

It is still debatable whether the decision to impose a nationwide lockdown in March was right. Many nations that went into complete lockdown mode during the early stages of the spread of Covid-19, have since reopened their countries, and never returned to a complete lockdown, he said.

According to him, Kerala’s model of curtailing the spread of Covid-19 was well-acclaimed globally. But all the good work was virtually lost after the lockdown was lifted and the states borders were thrown open. The actual reasons for the deterioration in Kerala’s Covid-19 care arewell known and attributed to various reasons. However, compared to some other states, Kerala is still well ahead in containing the virus, he added.

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Published on July 27, 2020
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