Lockout must be comprehensive, suggests Anand Mahindra

Anand Mahindra suggests 'comprehensive' lifting of lockdown after 49 days

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra on Tuesday suggested a "comprehensive" lifting of lockdown after 49 days, saying the industrial recovery will be painfully slow if the government goes for “sequential opening” of different parts of the country.

While acknowledging that the government has a complex challenge in planning an exit strategy, he said considering how intricately interrelated the elements of the economy are, the road ahead must be planned on the basis of containment by widespread tracking and testing, isolation only of hotspots and vulnerable segments of the population.

"Research suggests a 49-day lockdown is optimal. If true, then post that duration, I believe the lifting of the lockout should be comprehensive," Mahindra said in a series of tweets.

He suggested "containment by exception based on widespread tracking & testing. Isolation only of hotspots and vulnerable segments of the population" as a strategy in the post-lockdown era.

Explaining his thoughts, Mahindra said, "If a 'calibrated' lifting of the lockdown means the sequential opening of different parts of the country, then industrial recovery will be painfully slow. In manufacturing, if even one feeder factory is still locked down, then the final product assembly will be stalled."

The government has a complex challenge planning an exit from the lockdown. It is crystal clear that all supply chains and all elements of the economy are intricately interrelated. For example, “humble roadside dhabas may seem 'non-essential' but truckers can't journey without them," he further added.

India had gone for a 21-day nationwide lockdown from March 25 to April 14, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the step to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. He later extended it to May 3 taking the total lockdown period to 40 days.