Monday, 24 January, 2022

Corona Surge

Plan properly to narrow loss

Plan properly to narrow loss

Popular News

Another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is feared to hit the country, bringing back the old dilemma of whether to save lives and the livelihood of people. Though it is still unknown how severe the new variant will be and how prolonged the wave would be, the government has imposed fresh restrictions from today to contain the spread of the new variant of coronavirus, Omicron. The country’s economy is likely to be hit hard by the inevitable restrictions.

According to the lead news published in this newspaper yesterday, all the tourism-related businesses may suffer a serious blow as movement of tourists has been restricted in different tourist hubs in addition to banning social gatherings, causing many hotels, motels and picnic spots and community centres to come under an actual shutdown. In consequence, many people are likely to lose their only source of income. The scenario of other sectors would not differ much if Omicron continues to surge for a long time. Prolonged restrictions or lockdown, hopefully not be needed, will surely ruin the recovery efforts the country has made after being hit hard by previous waves. Therefore, taking preparation for helping people remain afloat during the tough time, keeping the worst possibilities in mind, should be given utmost priority.

Two years' experience of dealing with such situations may help this time. The government’s initiative to declare a massive stimulus package helped the country keep the economic loss during the pandemic at a tolerable level. Though some sectors have benefitted well due to stimulus packages, many others, including CMSMEs, women entrepreneurs, migrant workers and the youth, did not get advantages despite their dire need for supports. Moreover, there was little scope for small and medium entrepreneurs to make profits after investing by taking loans from the banks. On the other hand, an allegation of money embezzlement was there in the distribution of financial aid that the prime minister had offered to ease people’s hardship during the lockdown.

Therefore, a more pragmatic decision should be made to fill up the loopholes that hindered the government initiatives to reduce people's suffering last time. The government needs to chalk out a faultless plan so that all the affected people can get benefits from its support according to their needs if a similar situation arises this time. Emphasis should be put on preventive measures.