From The Desk of Rajesh Bajaj


Beyond Covid-19 uncertainties!

In the midst of pandemic coronavirus disease, it is very difficult to speak any business in India & the globe! De facto the world is fighting the adversary which is not being seen! Amid vulnerable scenario & uncertainties of Covid-19 the world leaders, economists, industry & trade fraternity and all those financial institutional players are worried about that global economy & of their own nation’s economy on Macro front & up to the economy of the last man of the bottom of the pyramid! At the juncture, it is very difficult to draw any strategy beyond the on-going COVID-19 because of its uncertainty!

The overall scenario is uncertain and it is difficult to gaze any radius of Covid-19 because any infected can be a center & at any time any point of time circle can occur of any size! There is no proper medicine or vaccine so far! What the best remedy is being trusted is isolation! And today, the globe is locked down, Cities are locked down, every citizen is also locked down! Now almost every government is convinced about isolation rather than worrying about the national economy!

Initially, the western world worried much about their economic growth & GDP rather than isolation. In such pressure and upon worries of German economic fallout amid COVID-19, Thomas Schaefer, Finance Minister- Hesse state, Germany embraced death in March 2020!

On the other hand, prudent leader India resolved and preferred isolation since January 8 to protect every citizen rather than to worry about only GDP & economy! The ongoing Union government moved much on isolation yet; on the other hand, they attempted and announced Covid-19 Economic Response Task Force initially under the Union Finance Minister.

Accordingly, the Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several important relief measures taken by the Government of India in view of Covid-19 outbreak, especially on statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to several sectors including Corporate Affairs, Income Tax, GST/Indirect Tax, Customs & Central Excise, Financial Services- Banking Sector, Commerce and Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC). These endeavors were to ensure economy India!

In the row RBI also moved ahead & announced after extensive discussions, ‘the MPC voted unanimously for a sizeable reduction in the policy repo rate and for maintaining the accommodative stance of monetary policy as long as necessary to revive growth, mitigate the impact of Covid-19 while ensuring that inflation remains within the target. While there were some differences in the quantum of reduction, the MPC voted with a 4-2 majority to reduce the policy rate by 75 basis points to 4.4 percent.’

On the other hand, the government also worried about the bottom of the economic pyramid India- the last man, and just ahead of FM’s announcement for Industry & Commerce, they announced Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus initially under the policy of, People First!

The way PM India has taken care of people the GJEPC also announced the care for the bottom players of the gem-n-jewelry industry & trade. In the context Pramod Agrawal, Chairman, GJEPC said, “In our endeavor to combat the situation caused by Covid-19, GJEPC, from its own reserves, has decided to contribute Rs. 50 crores towards several welfare initiatives to be undertaken in the current scenario. The economic situation of our country and that of our industry has taken a severe beating. Our businesses are impacted but the most affected are our Daily wage worker community.”

Now at the juncture, India looks success in saving the lives of citizens, India looks moderately safer yet, it is likely extended up to April 31. Here I can learn the policy of the ongoing government is ensuring a broken chain of Covid-19 pan India first along with the worry of growth & development of the nation!

Well, the Narendra Modi government is leaving no stone unturned upon combating the challenge of Covid-19 yet, announcing numbers of ease of doing business policy and financial measures to keep up trade & commerce India! I believe all those leaders of every trade & industry must be thinking the road map ahead & post Covid-19 business state amid ongoing uncertainties!

Bottom Line:

Gem & jewellery industry & trade India is gazing beyond 1Q of this FY 2020-21 and thinks to be scheduled by July & August thus not expecting anything from 2Q unless to restart the trade & commerce. Business is thinking to catch the 3Q & 4Q of this FY 2020-21. Gem & jewellery fraternity is expecting to roll on exports & to catch the season of the festive 2020! Let’s expect if lockdown is opened up after July 15, 2020, in India for regular business!


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