Migrant jobs may fall up to 30% after Covid-19: Ajay Piramal
India will continue to face high unemployment rates in the wake of the pandemic if the economy is not in revival mode soon, industrialists warned on Tuesday. At the CII virtual conclave, they said the next normal won’t be business as usual. Covid-19 poses an existential threat if more people fall below the poverty line, and this could lead to a demographic nightmare.
Ajay Piramal, chairman, Piramal Group, underlined the migrant labourer crisis. “There will be new ways of doing business and probably 20-30% of these people will not be employed,” he said. “How do we ensure that those sectors that they work in, whether it is construction or at home, are revived?”
While companies can survive the crisis, many people may not, he warned. “If we don’t address growth, there will be social issues—if people do not have food. I am worried what would happen if after living a certain standard, people fall below the poverty level,” he said.
To revive growth, demand must be stimulated. “The PM’s concept of self-reliant India is a great initiative. Just like we had a full blast on Swachh Bharat, we need the same for this initiative. We need to create demand first in India and then serve the global markets,” he said. “We need investments in technology and innovation so that we can make world-class products at the least cost.”
Piramal advocated speed over perfection when it comes to policy implementation. “There is a difference in what policies are articulated and when the ground implementation takes place. What is important is that all the concerned people work together, whether it is the political masters in Delhi and states, the bureaucracy, the regulatory bodies. We need to have an urgency in implementation of the policies. You don’t have to be perfect,” he said, adding that what would take a year in normal times to implement ought to be done in less than a month.