The impact of COVID’19 on Indian Economy


Ar. Rahul Mehta
Assistant Professor
Amity Institute of Design
Amity University Gurugram

COVID’19- is a virus which has led a complete shut down in the whole world. This pandemic has its effect on the economic activities which can be felt far and wide, far beyond the airline, travel, hospitality and tourism sectors. The market analysts and economists have seen some impact in the January-March 2020 quarter gross domestic products. But the really deep cut will be seen in the April-June quarter further exacerbating the slowdown in consumption and activity being witnessed in the Indian Economy.

However, economists and experts warn that these assessments and forecasts will change depending on how much the virus spreads and what actions are taken by companies and central and state governments. Various sectors such as automobile and pharmaceuticals are getting impacted severely due to shortage of imported components.

On 23rd March 2020, stock markets in India posted worst losses in history. SENSEX fell 4000 points (13.15%) and NSE NIFTY fell 1150 points (12.98%). However on 25 March, one day after a complete 21 day lock-down was announced by the Prime Minister, SENSEX posted its biggest gains in 11 years, adding a value of ?4.7 lakh crore (US$66 billion) for investors.

On 24th March, the government announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, which is likely to bring all economic activities to a grinding halt. Given the 21-day lockdown in India, India's GDP growth was expected to moderate further from the earlier estimate of 5 per cent for FY20. And growth for FY21 remained highly uncertain. Although CII has asked the government to consider providing a strong fiscal stimulus to the extent of 1% of GDP, or ?2 trillion, to the poor, which would help them financially and also spur consumer demand, it was also suggested to remove a long-term capital gains tax of 10% and fixing the total dividend distribution tax at 25%. It was also urged that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should undertake an immediate repo rate reduction of 50 basis points along with a 50 basis points reduction in cash reserve ratio to ensure sufficient liquidity and cheaper funds.

According to Dun & Bradstreet's latest Economic Forecast, due to this pandemic situation the probability of countries entering into recession and companies going bankrupt have increased and India is not likely to "remain decoupled" from the global meltdown. Although, it is still a question whether this economic crisis would be worse than the financial crisis of 2008 and how we will recover from this situation.

This pandemic COVID’19 is affecting every sector. Due to the lock down condition, many businesses have closed their stores, and numerous art and design fairs have canceled, postponed, or modified their upcoming plans. As per a report by Furniture today, “ Many of the U.S. retailers were already beginning to shift some sourcing to other countries because of the trade war, but if shutdowns continues, we could see an impact on supply chains.” Although the real estate sector of India is not much dependent on the import and export but definitely like other things, this would affect the launching of many residential and commercial projects. As per Niranjan Hiranandani, President Naredco & Assocham, the imports of certain supply fixtures, furniture and fittings used in the luxury housing sector in India has stopped without which the interior designing assignments could not be done and this will delay the possession dates. There are no other alternative sources which can provide design material at the price being quoted by the Chinese manufacturers.

Now the question arises, being Architect, how can we help to fight COVID’19.We see today, the whole world is suffering due to virus transfer where a major role of transfer is due to materials such as Steel, Iron, Glass, Plastic, lasting on it for hours. Talking about the present scenario, me, as an architect and interior designer , would like to think about materials which can reduce the risk of the virus spreading. There is a list of materials which are able to transfer and retain pathogens more effectively and for a larger time than other materials. Many materials are their which have antimicrobial property inherited i.e they don’t act as virus carriers and instead they weaken and kill the disease causing pathogens. In Future, we need to use these kinds of materials especially at airports, hospitals, metro stations and other public spaces which would reduce the risk of virus spreading to a large extent.

For ex. Silver and copper have a long history as antimicrobials, as evidenced by Greek, Egyptian and Roman accounts as far back as 2200 BC. Both metals were used to store and treat drinking water, and also made into antiseptic salve. The antimicrobial action for both elements is in the ionic form and can act in multiple ways. Silver is typically applied by adding silver ions to a carrier material, such as clay, which is in turn added to the base material. Copper is used in both the raw metallic form and as oxides added to base materials. As an existing technological material “Sharklet” which is a surface comprised of millions of microscopic diamonds arranged into a distinct texture based on natural sharkskin. Instead of killing microbes, the surface creates an inhospitable environment that inhibits their growth. The use of any antimicrobial materials should be in way that it follows all the guidelines being given by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIIFRA).

Amity Institute of Design