In the Smart City Mission, the Government’s bold leading
program was to develop 100 smart cities in India, which has a sudden boost with
utilization doubling in post lockdown months.COVID-19 crisis has majorly
impacted six key industries:
Demand for command-and-control centers in various smart
cities increased due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Smart cities rapidly established
pending ICCCs (Integrated Command and Control Centers) as new WAR rooms to
monitor and mitigate the COVID-19 evolving situations. One such war room was
established in Bengaluru that helped in coordinating all COVID-19 related
operations from contact tracing to ambulance movement and distributing
groceries to people and organizing food packets through NGOs. While 51 command
and control centers were established, the mission aims to complete all 100
centers by August 2022.
Similarly, Karnataka had set up a dedicated call center for
monitoring and advising the citizens under self-quarantine as a telemedicine
facility. Bhopal Smart City project is actively using ICCC as the ‘State
Resource Center’ to address citizen concerns and act as a tele-counseling
center for the state.
Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation
(AMRUT), Andhra Pradesh has taken up 226 projects worth INR 3,334 crore of
which 77 projects worth INR 519 crore have been completed while 149 projects
worth INR 2,815 crore are at various stages of completion.22 projects worth INR
594 crore are more than 75 percent complete while the rest are between 50 to 75
Government Institution Schemes
During COVID-19 outbreak Government organizations came up with various schemes for funding and providing relief for the affected citizens across the country.
BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation)
- BMC was able to effectively dispense medical aid
to homes in approximately 2,300 containment zones across the city, with about
150,000 at-risk people isolated in hotels and COVID care centers.
- Effective oxygen management
is one of the key initiatives the civic body had implemented to beef up the
city’s medical infrastructure and systems. Oxygen consumption by COVID-19
- Sped up Government policies such as Ayushman Bharat and
National Digital Health Mission
- Use of technology for online doctor
COVID-19 has resulted in significant operational disruption for many companies including those in the Indian healthcare industry. Private Indian healthcare players rose to the occasion and have been providing all the support that the Government needs, such as testing, isolation beds for treatment, medical staff, and equipment at Government COVID-19 hospitals and home healthcare. The Healthcare industry had a lot of key pain areas during the second wave and had an unfavorable effect, especially on the infrastructure. The need for oxygen, hospital beds, ventilators, remdesivir injections, etc. caught the industry by surprise during the second wave.
The vaccination phase faced production and planning challenges which led to uneven vaccine availability among citizens. There were also demand-side barriers like vaccine hesitancy fueled by lack of trust, fear of side effects, and concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.
Investment in India’s healthcare sector helped in effectively boosting the industry performance by:
- Building medical infrastructure in Tier II and III cities
- Increased awareness and investment in health insurance
- Sped up Government policies such as Ayushman Bharat and National Digital Health Mission
- Use of technology for online doctor consultations
vulnerabilities induced during the COVID-19 pandemic had highlighted the need
for making social protection for the affected grey and blue-collar, gig
Many companies like Ecommerce,
online food delivery helped their partners with empathy and employee care
initiatives for their safety and mental well-being during the COVID-19 crisis.
A few companies also set
up a pandemic support mechanism and an emergency support team to assist
employees during this crisis. The employees could access information related to
hospital beds, ICUs, plasma and oxygen cylinders, ambulance support, and other
emergency services through their network of partners, volunteers, and
salaries and vaccination cover were some of the other initiatives taken by the
National lockdown due
to COVID-19 severely impacted the lives and livelihoods across rural India. Various
interventions by the Government were taken to ease the economic burden of
existing employment patterns during the pandemic. While the effects of the
pandemic are still unfolding, the true effectiveness of these welfare schemes is
yet to be seen.
of employment like manufacturing, tourism & hospitality, travel, services,
and the retail industries, along with small and medium enterprises, have been
Key interventions by the Government during the
COVID-19 crisis are:
- Special insurance scheme amounting to INR 50
lakh for health workers for fighting COVID-19 in Government hospitals,
wellness, and healthcare centers. Under this scheme, 22 lakh health workers
would be insured to fight this pandemic
- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKY): An additional 5kg of rice or wheat to be given to 80 crore poverty-stricken
people, above the existing 5kg they receive, along with 1kg pulses according to
regional preferences per household free of any charge, for a period of three
- Collateral-free loans for 63 lakh women
organized through the self-help groups were doubled from INR 10 lakh to INR 20
lakh under the Aajeevika Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana or National Rural
Livelihoods Mission. For 630,000 Self-help Groups (SHGs), which help 70 million
households, the Government is doubling collateral-free loans to INR 200,000.
- MNREGA workers: Wage increase from INR 182/- to
INR 202/-. Such an increase could benefit 50 million families. The wage
increase amounts to an additional income of INR 2,000/- per worker.
- Other components of PMGKY:
- Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) regulations will be amended to include the pandemic as the reason to allow the non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts. Families of 4 crore workers registered under EPF can take benefit of this window
- State Governments have been directed to utilize the welfare fund for INR 3.5 crore building and other construction workers created under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996 to protect them against economic disruptions.
- The State Governments will be asked to utilize
the funds available under the District Mineral (DMF) fund for supplementing and
augmenting facilities of medical testing, screening, and other requirements to
prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for the treatment of the patients affected
by this pandemic. State Governments have been directed to use the welfare fund
for building and construction workers. The District Mineral Fund, worth about
INR 310 billion, will be used to help those who are facing economic disruption
because of the lockdown
Tourism and Hospitality
Travel and tourism are among the most affected
sectors with a decline of inbound and outbound amid global travel restrictions.
For a long period, the Indian hospitality sector also faced the brunt of the
pandemic as bookings slowed to a trickle.
Increased use of technology and video conferencing
apps replaced the previously strong and growing business travel. COVID-19 has
had a debilitating impact on the MICE tourism market that witnessed a complete
halt which is expected to continue for some time.
To help survive and recover from the impact of
COVID-19, a slew of initiatives were taken by the Government and Associations.
- The Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism
and Hospitality (FAITH) recommended strong support funds be made available to
the affected tourism players to stay afloat and avoid job losses.
- The central and state Government announced
separate tourism plans to boost job potential and development within the
hospitality and tourism sectors.
- Measures were taken by the Ministry of Tourism
to help the economy: (1) increase tourism infrastructure, (2) easing of entry
permits system, and (3) promote medical tourism.
- The Government authorities are also working on
the crisis management action plan and building trust factors with the tour
- Indian chambers committee of representatives has
proposed a complete GST holiday or offering destination vouchers for tourism,
travel, and hospitality industry for the next 12 months till the time of the
recovery healing happens and urge to ministry to provide funds from the MGNREGA
scheme to support the salaries of employees and other workers.
- As Micro and Small
Enterprises (MSEs) struggled to keep up float their businesses due to COVID-19 lockdown, enterprises look at a long road to recovery.
- The country’s economic
powerhouse Maharashtra, which has the fourth-highest concentration of small
businesses in the country with an 8 percent share of India’s 6.3 crore MSME
base, is yet to see a complete turnaround of small businesses that have been
falling short of their production targets due to shortage of workforce,
capital, and broken supply chain and more.
- According to the Economic
Survey of Maharashtra, out of INR 2.48 lakh crore targeted credit disbursement
to small businesses in FY21, INR 90,000 crore was disbursed to 8.85 lakh
businesses up to September 2020. Under the Package Scheme of Incentives by the
state Government to encourage the setting up of new industries in the
industrially less developed areas, INR 473 crore was disbursed to MSMEs up to
November last year. In addition, under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, INR
27,398 crore loan was disbursed to 47.7 lakh accounts in FY20.
- Due to COVID-19 induced
restrictions, product industries in the manufacturing sector and trading
businesses recorded significant contraction. There is still a significant
impact seen on production as many migrant workers have not returned.
Some of these proactive counter steps may
stimulate the path towards recovery. The synergetic consultation, focused
methodologies in innovation and implementation will provide a yardstick to
measure the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision of India and the full impact of these
approaches remains to be seen.
Both the Federal and State Governments put in
robust governance steps, through technology enablement, swift integrations of
information systems with availability of data across levels, use of human
support system, enhancing the capacities and leveraging support ecosystem
through public-private partnerships, and thus, a better decision support system
to handle the evolving situations during COVID-19 emergencies. The assessment
of the next quarter would continue to show how much of these interventions are
supporting to keep the health, economy, and livelihood on the recovery path.
Lokesh Bohra, Senior Vice President, Social and Impact Advisory, Praxis Global Alliance