India Goes Under Complete Lockdown For 21 Days
File Photo of PM Modi (Source PTI)

India Goes Under Complete Lockdown For 21 Days

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Watch: India Under Complete Lockdown For 21 Days

India has been placed under a strict lockdown for 21 days to ensure that people do not venture out amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is in effect a curfew across the nation,” Modi said in an address to the nation earlier. “Nobody will be allowed to leave their houses starting tonight.”

The lockdown will be in effect for 21 days.

Modi urged people to stay put where they are. He said if India fails to observe the lockdown for 21 days, the country will be setback by 21 years.

For 21 days, forget what going out means.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Watch the full speech here.

Also read: India Lockdown Ready Reckoner: What’s Open And What’s Not

Finance Ministry Asks States To Allow Bank Staff To Travel

The Finance Ministry has told state governments that bank staff, including employees of ATM and cash management companies, should be allowed to travel and continue their operations, despite the lockdown across the country.

The Government has notified that banks and ATM services are essential services under the present lockdown situation due to the coronavirus. It has asked state governments to ensure that employees continue performing their functions as normal without hindrances.

Bank, ATM and cash management services will all continue to function during the period of the 21-day lockdown.

Also read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Government Tells States To Ensure Bank, ATM Firm Employees Can Work Freely

India Lockdown: What Will Stay Open And What Will Not

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has issued guidelines for the 21-day India lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.

What Will Stay Open

  • Hospitals, nursing homes, police, fire stations, ATMs will continue to work.
  • Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, animal fodder will remain open.
  • Banks, insurance offices, print and electronic media to remain open.
  • E-commerce delivery of essential goods like food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
  • Petrol pumps, LPG and gas retail outlets.
  • Capital and debt markets notified by SEBI.
  • Cold storage and warehouses.
  • Telecom, internet, broadcast and cable services.

What Will Not Be Open

  • All transport services including air, rail and roadways will be suspended.
  • Industries not involved in manufacturing or production of essential commodities.
  • All hospitality services to be suspended except those accomodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff or those which are being used for quarantine.
  • All places of worship.
  • All social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural gatherings will be barred.
  • All educational, training and research institutions will be closed.

Soon After Modi's Speech, People Rush Out To Buy Before Midnight

People rushed out of their homes in scores to stock up on supplies soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day complete lockdown in India.

People queue outside a shop in Mumbai. (Source: BloombergQuint)
People queue outside a shop in Mumbai. (Source: BloombergQuint)
Crowd outside a grocery store in Delhi. (Source: BloombergQuint)
Crowd outside a grocery store in Delhi. (Source: BloombergQuint)
People gathered outside a store in Delhi. (Source: BloombergQuint)
People gathered outside a store in Delhi. (Source: BloombergQuint)

Watch | Economic Impact Of The 21-Day Nationwide Lockdown

Here’s what experts said about the economic impact of the 21-day lockdown.

Abheek Barua, Chief Economist, HDFC Bank

  • Economic efforts have to start by putting money in the hands of the people who are going to be impacted the most.
  • The government should prevent the economy from going below the stall speed and ensure that we return to reasonable growth once lockdown lifts.
  • We will need very aggressive fiscal and monetary policy measures to ensure we return to acceptable growth levels.
  • India's robust digital banking system can be used to target relief at weaker sections.
  • The current situation goes beyond the established playbook for dealing with such crises.

MS Unnikrishnan, MD & CEO, Thermax

  • For India's $3 trillion economy, every day of lockdown is a $10 billion GDP loss.
  • The GDP loss from the lockdown will be a small price to pay for the safety of citizens.
  • It will take minimum of 2 years for India to come out from the economic impact of the national lockdown of 21 days.
  • Need an economic package like the ones being discussed in the U.S.
  • Have to use the public distribution system to ensure people have the basic necessities.
  • Getting industry out of the ICU will take more than six months.

Niranjan Hiranandani, MD, Hiranandani Group

  • We have requested the government to use Rs 25,000 crore of labour cess to support workers.
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code needs to be suspended completely. Today's move to raise the threshold to Rs 1 crore won't be sufficient.
  • No further notices related to IBC should be sent in the next six months.
  • Expecting much more from the Finance Ministry, especially with respect to GST payments.
  • RBI should do a one-time restructuring for all loans which fall due on March 31.

Long But Significant Lockdown: PM Modi

PM Modi said that the lockdown of 21 days is long, but is significant to save lives.

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