All may not be hunky-dory yet but Covid may have a few positives

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FY21 very simply stands as a debacle 12 months on all counts. Even the God-fearing say there was foul play by the almighty!

Here’s an try at recapping the important thing happenings within the final 12 months:

  • Covid-19 and its mammoth influence on lives will no surprise be the primary line.
  • The related impacts on livelihood and job losses comply with as a shut second.

And the next comes out with out an excessive amount of debate on the monetary influence of the pandemic:

  • Huge loss in GDP globally, and India
  • Loss in worldwide commerce
  • Stretched monetary state of affairs inside the financial system; corporates and Individuals alike
  • A big accumulation of debt
  • Accentuating fiscal pressure

While the final quarter introduced in a ray of hope on the upcoming restoration – each in India and overseas, there have been threats of the mutant variant of the virus dislodging the identical. The second waves of such pandemics in historical past have on many events confirmed as extra deadly in comparison with the primary ones.

Thus, all may not be hunky-dory yet.

The MPC will not have a simple coverage assessment this week, with progress getting derailed, inflation lurking greater — and a sticky core, persisting provide points and better imported costs. In this surroundings, whereas retaining the ‘accommodative’ stance intact seems to be an apparent transfer, the medium-term problem will be to maneuver the time period charges in an surroundings marked with growing rates of interest, doubtlessly growing inflation and not-as-high-as-expected progress.

To all above, we may add the possibly mundane stuff. The large shift in our every day routines, decreased bodily exercise, no bodily education for kids, decreased social interplay and journey, have been the causes for nervousness and trauma for a lot of.

Each of us may add our personal few ache factors to it and hopefully, there’ll be an finish to the sob story. What doesn’t get captured above is what has modified for the constructive by way of this episode.

Going again in historical past, the Black Death pandemic in Europe that lasted for over 5 years within the 14th century and took between 75 million and 200 million lives may have been the trigger for the onset of Industrial Revolution within the western nations of Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The large lack of lives resulted in a important lack of assets within the type of labour, resulting in a surge in wages in these nations. This proved to be a catalyst for a massive migration from the farm to the cities, thus transferring these economies from an agri- to manufacturing mode. Further, the big prices owing to excessive wages and the necessity to decrease them introduced within the want for these corporations to mechanise, and thus the onset of industrialisation.

Now, again to our personal time, FY21 has unexpectedly positioned every of us into the innovation zone: from youngsters to adults, and from gardeners to CEOs.

The large bandwagon of the transfer from workplace premises to work-from-home protocols is the obvious consequence. It not solely has the potential to carry down the prices, but has additionally created nice room to steadiness one’s function at workplace and at house on a person stage.

The 12 months noticed a lot of speak on bitcoin and the way its worth has rallied. But what has not been noticed as a lot are the great efforts the central banks are making to drift digital currencies of their very own. While China is leagues forward, European nations are engaged on a central financial institution digital forex (CBDC), and the RBI can be drawing the map on that entrance.

It will not be of shock if a lot earlier than we exit the last decade, the central financial institution liquidity assertion will have a line merchandise on digital forex in circulation, and it might be at the price of forex in circulation (arduous money)!

While demonetisation noticed a variety of small worth funds transferring from money to digital modes, the Covid-19 pandemic has bolstered it, thus doubtlessly casting the web wider on the monetary inclusion entrance.

To the above, we will add the numerous variety of progressive measures introduced by the federal government and the RBI as a part of their deliberate developmental efforts: 24/7 NEFT and RTGS transactions, the Netting Bill, and the numerous variety of measures taken to deepen our monetary markets to call a few.

The pandemic, and its challenges, are not yet over but neither are the alternatives it presents.

(Lakshmanan V, Senior Vice President, Federal Bank. Views are his personal)

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