The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has resulted in an abrupt disruption in the supply chain. Firms are now facing the brunt of reduced / nil sales volumes, even as they continue to incur large expenses, raising the question of sustainability in many cases. Loss of jobs would naturally be a direct and most painful consequence of the current situation.
With a view to mitigating the impact of the lockdown on economic activity, while aggressively pursuing means to contain the spread of the virus, the Government of India has started relaxing norms for resumption of economic activity. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released detailed guidelines for restarting of business operations in certain segments in conjunction with adoption of comprehensive health and safely protocol on 15th April 2020. The guidelines covered all essential goods and services and also provided flexibility to resume operations even in certain non-essential items. These measures are indeed a positive step towards keeping business operations going on a relatively stable footing and minimising contraction of economic activity.
The MHA guidelines are comprehensive, and when implemented effectively by states, they could help in a significant revival of industrial activity without compromising on the fight against the pandemic.
The present survey attempts to assess the on-ground effectiveness of the MHA guidelines and identify the areas requiring attention. The survey provides a holistic overview as the respondents are from across sectors, states and scales.