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Planning for and after Coronavirus or COVID-19 Pandemic, Indian Case

Planning plays a major role in governing the countries moving into economic recession and depression during the time of Coronavirus or COVID-19 and after it. The planning machinery should be consistently working round the clock during this horrific pandemic. Most of the countries have opted the option for complete lockdown with only access to basic necessities such as food, water and banking institutions with limited functioning. This lockdown would have a devastating consequence to the economies of the developed and the developing countries. Other than economies these countries would require enormous planning exercise to be back on their feet. The planning solutions would differ in different parts of the world according to their prevailing conditions in terms of spatial planning.

For a country like India, the challenges are many and resources are limited. An already slowdown in the economic condition would be the most challenging for the country. In fact, it is going to be ground zero for almost all countries. To prevent the Coronavirus from spreading, the country has taken a very good step of lockdown for 21 days which may be extended depending on the situation. The real problem comes after this and it is the test for the impeccable governance model which government needs to imply. The planning and governance needed in this situation must be methodical and in proper sequential order.

The measures taken after the lockdown should be slow in opening up of the institutions, market places, and offices. Initially, there is quite a possibility of speculation and black marketing with artificial demand being created for the higher prices of goods and materials. This mainly includes the FMCG sector and the commodity markets. I think there needs to be an interim budget being published by the government to avoid these unprecedented events and to guide the economy in the right direction under such different circumstances. This is necessary to regulate true demand and supply to avoid any shortage of supply of necessary goods. The government then needs to strengthen its banking sector with an increased rate of interest until the economic recovery time of 2 to 3 years. This will make loans available in the market for the economically hit small and medium-sized businesses to reshape themselves in the market. Agriculture and rural industries must be protected by government relief packages. The large-scale manufacturing industries will improve in demand as a result of these measures and all the sectors may it be public and private sector will be influenced by that. This model of development is decentralised and bottom-up for the type of social structure India has. The overall recovery of the comprehensive economy will take 2 to 3 years to reach its basic level if proper guidelines are given by the government and its machinery.

Once this basic level is achieved import and export also will flourish with international travelling restrictions being lifted. With an increase in the import and export the national economy will improve with the fiscal deficit being reduced and improve in value in the international market. With this improved global image of our country tourism industry will get a boost. This will make way for infrastructure projects such as smart cities, beautification of river fronts and low-cost housing. All said and done the current government needs to do research before implementation, opinions from the experts in the industry, policy guidelines, monitoring and a life cycle system approach.

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