The second wave of Covid-19 threatens to stall India’s fragile economic recovery and prolong the hardships of the poor and businesses as job opportunities dry up and supply chains are disrupted. After the disaster of 2020, the logical conclusion should have been for the political leadership to set an example by ensuring that pandemic protocols are followed strictly -- especially now that it is clear that the vaccine programme is unlikely to achieve critical mass anytime soon. Yet the businesses of religion and elections, two key super-spreaders, have acquired a curious immunity from the enforcement of Covid-19 protocols.
At the Mahakumbh mela, which officially began on April 1, and in election rallies in Assam and Bengal in particular, the basic norms of mask-wearing and social distancing have visibly been jettisoned. Religion and politics is infecting public health in dangerous ways, the top edit points out. Read it here
In other opinion, writers focus on the trajectory of GST, the key weakness in government welfare schemes and why the Mahindra group’s new CEO should readjust the conglomerate’s strategic focus:
Gurbachan Singh makes the case for the phased transitioning from the plethora of government welfare schemes, many of them of questionable economic or market rationale, to a good and general policy framework that ensures efficient allocation and pricing of resources. Read it here
Anish Shah, the first non-family member to have oversight of the entire Mahindra group, would do well to streamline the unwieldy expansions and diversifications that have acted as a drag on profitability for some years now, says the second edit. Read it here