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OPINION

In the forefront of business

Khawaza Main Uddin | April 01, 2020 00:00:00


The second concern over the current crisis has come first in the global public discourse, more prominently than the immediate healthcare challenge.The economic fallout of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is not a directimpact of the infectious disease that has actually panicked billions worldwide.

The compulsion for state leaders to save their peoples from Covid-19 has stalled all activities other than emergencies,a halt which is being equated as losses by clever people but which has led to want of money and foods for the poor and helpless. The situation has given rise to anxiety about what pundits call recession or depression in the coming months or years.

Thus, futuristic concerns have largely overshadowed both the immediate crisesof health and livelihoods.

The losses for many are the losses resulted from failure to foreseeby those who govern the world. Who has given guarantee to owners and managers of commercial and state institutions thatfactories,shops, offices and schools would never be closed for days,or maybe, months? Insurance companies, tour operators, restaurants, banks, share market players - none could anticipate that Covid-19 was coming to force a shutdown of business operations.

When the lockdown is a compulsion for the 'dynamic' humankind, who, excepting the invisible virus, could be blamed for the plight and more relevantly, should share and bear the losses -real and imaginary?

At the very least, it is the common people who are at the receiving end of the crisis, whether it involves healthcare risk or economic pitfalls.Now, the so-called movers and shakers of the state and society have rare explanationsother than taking contingency measures. And taxpayers' money is being earmarked in advance for saving aneconomic system which was more like democracy without people.

Even if the shutdown was not enforced here and there, people scared of life-threatening Covid-19 would have refrained from going to commercial places inclusive of their workplaces that see gathering and movement of crowd. Commonly to all - students and teachers, consumers and sellers,clients and service providers,and employees and employers - safety of life is important, more than daily routine of a man desperate to meet basic needs.

However, for their sales and profit, business entities count headsthat purchase as consumers. That human factor, which was widely ignored in the entire process of business growth, has reappeared for practical purposes through absence of people from the business scene.

Otherwise, robots could have solved the economic problems by keeping the marketsoperational.But they wouldn't buy products and services creating increased demand for those, a process that creates multiple opportunities for a variety of professionals. Robots wouldn't either form a society that would take care of its members from birth till death.

The immediate effect of the Covid-19 crisis has reminded the world that for ensuring growth or even normal functioning of business cycles,people, as producers, as consumers, as managers and as authorities, are at the centre of business and economy. Theymatter most as may be understood now, in doing business by others, unlike the way they are deprived of dividend and often the entire investment in the capital market.

It is feared,people may be a forgotten factor again when rescue packages being offered by different governments, excepting arguably in welfare states, to address Covid-19 fallouts would be operational. Compensation as humanitarian support may be hijacked if human greed and discriminatory mindset dictate the term. Still, protagonists and beneficiaries of the current economic order may find one thing new: their markets may not rebound unless common people are capable of joining the market forces.

khawaza@gmail.com


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