Few things in life are as important as one’s health. The coronavirus pandemic has brought this to light yet again after its onset in 2020.
Recently, India recorded a record high of 2.73 lakh cases in a single day. But the end of the long, dark tunnel is finally visible. Starting May 1, 2021, all Indians above the age of 18 will be eligible to receive a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine!
This bodes good news for both the Indian economy’s and the population’s health. Let’s see how.
A panacea for the rising COVID tally
The third phase of the world’s largest vaccination programme will, in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words “ensure that maximum numbers of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible time.”
Here’s how the Government of India plans to take down the coronavirus tally –
- Industrial establishments, private hospitals, and state governments can directly buy vaccines from manufacturers. This will enable a faster vaccine rollout, thereby reducing the pressure on healthcare infrastructures. As a result, the manufacturing sector is likely to see a boost.
- Vaccines will now be provided to state governments and in the open market at pre-declared prices, making it easier for the private players to procure vaccines directly.
- Other than government channels, imported fully ready vaccines (like Russia’s Sputnik-V) will also find more use.
Through this liberalised and accelerated vaccination drive, all stakeholders have been given the flexibility to customise the immunisation strategy to meet local demands. Meaning, anyone aged 18 or above can get immunised sooner rather than later.
What does this mean for our economy?
A shortage of healthcare services has dealt a major blow to both public and economic health. So, first and foremost, the vaccination will lay the groundwork for eliminating the fear from the masses – who can finally re-join the workforce. Following this, participation from different demographic segments will fast-track economic recovery.
Additional Read: What Is The Average Recovery Time For Global Market Downturns?
India has one of the largest proportions of young people – over 36% of the population lies in the 20 – 44 age bracket (Census figures). The move to vaccinate all persons above the age of 18 means the working age population will be able to safely return to work. As a result, consumption patterns will see a boost, breathing life into all sectors of the economy.
Particularly for India’s informal economy, Phase-III of the vaccination drive will set sails for the sector’s employment recovery. Once the infection fears subside, many daily workers will also return to work from their native places. Speedy immunisation will ensure they can return to work and go back to their livelihoods.
India Inc. is ready to bounce back
Some of the most badly hit industries by the second corona wave are travel, textile, FMCG, real estate, consumer durables, and retail. To put things in perspective – in just a month, the retail industry has experienced a 50% drop in revenue. In just a month, airline companies have witnessed a fall of 13% in passenger demand.
All of these industries also employ crores of Indians. With a majority of our population vaccinated, employees can finally start going to work. Naturally, buyer demand will also increase as the economy’s wheels set in motion.
Travel and tourism has been one of the worst hit industries around the world. With our large-scale vaccination drive, a new ray of hope has emerged. Millennials, who make the bulk of business and leisure travellers, will start taking vacations and work trips yet again. After more than a year of being locked up at home, they are eager to step out and travel. Many who’ve been working from home will likely return to their cities of work. For airlines, hotels, and other travel players, this means it will soon be business as usual.
Additional Read: How COVID-19 impacted businesses
India’s services sector was already picking pace and expanding output in February, thanks to the roll-out of Covid vaccines. With the third phase of vaccination, we’ll see business confidence soaring even higher as economic activity will grow.
This vaccination drive is also brining a whole new set of opportunities for our manufacturing sector. As Covid cases fall, we are expected to see renewed investor confidence for manufacturing in India! Our highly skilled working population will prove to be instrumental in helping manufacturers bounce back from the pandemic. Finally, Indian startups and SMEs that employ and serve crores of young people, will also experience the positive effects of a large-scale vaccination drive.
Good times are in the offing!
A vibrant economy means our populace, both rural and urban, is soon going to intensify consumption across the board. While demand for FMCGs will be the first to amplify, we’re also going to witness a rise in demand for white goods and consumer durables. Once our working age population is free from the distress of a pandemic, it won’t be long before demand for gadgets, electronics, and other lifestyle products reverts to pre-pandemic levels.
Many in the 18+ age bracket had plans to get married in the past year. While some did, it was certainly not with the quintessential pomp and show of our weddings. So, once restrictions are lifted and it becomes safe for our populace to gather in large numbers, we are going to see a surge in wedding celebrations. In fact, we may even see more and more people choosing exotic destinations and locales to mark this event, which has seen muted celebrations in 2020.
The road to recovery
Our government’s expedited vaccination efforts are directed towards one goal – to avoid more lockdowns and enable a speedy recovery. A faster vaccine rollout will be the modus operandi for India to give its economy a much needed booster shot.
Yet, we cannot overlook how the pandemic-induced disruptions have stretched our budgets thin. So, if push comes to shove, fortunately, personal loans can still be your ray of hope with Tata Capital. Especially in such uncertain times of medical and other emergencies, loans present a necessary aid to countless individuals and businesses in India.
Here’s to hoping the worst is behind us and we’re looking at a bright, new future ahead!