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Anand Mahindra: Lifting lockdown in stages will make industrial recovery painfully slow

As the government gears up to lift the nationwide lockdown, Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra has pointed out the complex challenge of planning an exit strategy from the coronavirus lockdown. Citing an example of a roadside ‘dhaba’ and truckers who depend on them for their foods, he explained all supply chains and elements of the economy are intricately interrelated.

“The government has a complex challenge planning an exit from the lockdown. It’s crystal clear that all supply chains and all elements of the economy are intricately interrelated. For example, humble roadside dhabas may seem ‘non-essential’ but truckers can’t journey without them,” Mahindra wrote on Twitter.

In a series of tweets, industrialist Anand Mahindra said that if the government opts for a sequential opening then economic recovery will be slow.

“If a ‘calibrated’ lifting of the lockdown means sequential opening of different parts of the country, then industrial recovery will be painfully slow,” Mahindra tweeted.

“In manufacturing, if even one feeder factory is still locked down, then the final product assembly will be stalled,” he added. 

Citing a ‘research’ that suggests a 49-day lockdown as optimal, he said that this calls for comprehensive relief post lockdown. He suggested that containment should be based on widespread tracking and testing, while isolation should be applicable only to hotspots.

“Research suggests a 49 day lockdown is optimal. If true, then post that duration, I believe the lifting of the lockout should be comprehensive. Containment by exception based on widespread tracking & testing. Isolation only of hotspots & vulnerable segments of the population,” he tweeted.

On April 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a video meeting with state Chief Ministers, indicated that the lockdown may continue in the parts of the country worst affected by the infection. He reiterated that that social distancing is the most effective way of fighting coronavirus.

Highlighting the importance to enforce guidelines strictly in the hotspots, especially in the red zone areas, PM Modi said that the efforts of the states should be directed towards converting the red zones into orange and thereafter green zones.

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