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15 million jobs could be lost in export sector alone

15 million jobs could be lost in export sector alone

Exports as a sector may lose over 15 million jobs unless immediate relief measures are announced, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations has said.

FIEO President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that a fine balancing is required between life and livelihood, as opting for only one option can be disastrous for the country.

“We are left with very less orders and if factories are not allowed to work with a minimum work force to execute them timely, many of them will suffer irreparable losses and bringing them to the brink of closure as they are saddled with fixed cost, which in any case has to be absorbed by them," Saraf was quoted as saying in a statement.

“With cancellation of over 50 per cent of orders and gloomy forecast for the future, we expect 15 million job losses in exports and rising NPAs amongst exporting units, hitting the economy very badly.”

Saraf urged the Centre to immediately announce a relief package for "exports as any further delay would be catastrophic".

“Allow exports related manufacturing immediately with minimum work force adhering to safety, sanitization and social distancing norms,” he recommended to mitigate the economic fallout of the pandemic.

He also pitched for interest free working capital term loan to exporters to cover the cost of wages, rental and utilities.

Meanwhile, economic activities in China, where Covid 19 originated, have restarted as most places came out of a lockdown. A State Bank of India (SBI) report suggested that the total cost of the lockdown could be Rs 8.03 lakk crore.

Besides, the exports other sectors such as retail, hospitality and aviation have faced unprecedented challenges in the wake of the spread of the deadly virus.

Indications are that the government is set to extend the lockdown till the end of the month. Odisha and Punjab have already announced extension of the lockdown..