Saturday, October 01, 2022

The Force of Informal Workforce

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 30, 2020 8:00 pm

After the lockdown brought all commercial activities and businesses to a grinding halt for months together, the daunting task that lies ahead of governments and societies alike is to revive the economy that is in the doldrums. Different countries, states and communities are applying different strategies for the same goal – to revive the economy. The enormity of the impact is so severe that it may take time to limp back to normalcy, but if taken positively, the crisis can be a blessing in disguise, especially for states that are over dependent on other states for manufactured goods. How? Because survival instinct could lead to innovations, and it will be easier for an agrarian economy like Nagaland to bounce back from a crisis such as this if concrete steps are taken to revive the market.

Thousands of migrants have left the state after being rendered jobless due to the nationwide lockdown, causing labour crisis in several sectors including developmental and construction works. In the mean time, equal or more people from the state staying in various parts of the country have returned home too. With the current health crisis likely to continue for some time, it is necessary for states to figure out the best possible ways to revive the economy and the people to adapt to the new situation. The returnees should be considered as assets to the state, rather than liabilities; they should help pull the state out of this crisis by implementing their expertise in various fields. One sector that needs to be strengthened is small enterprises that manufacture simple tools that people use every day; essential food items that every household needs; apparels that people need, etc. This sector requires less investment but is vital for any economy. Entrepreneurs from the state should capture this sector and reduce import of goods from other states.

This is also the time to bank on the state’s strong informal workforce to boost the economy besides encouraging farming and agricultural activities for self-sustenance. Informal workers include those in garment sector, household, sanitation, construction and transport, small enterprises and vendors. People working in this sector were hit hard during this crisis but the society needs their service for survival as well as to rebuild the battered economy. The state should look beyond self-sustenance and work towards becoming a major supplier of both agricultural and manufactured products. The Made in Nagaland Centre, which launched its e-commerce website on June 29, is a classic example of how informal workforce can be used to generate revenue. Getting into online retailing market is a smart move considering the challenges faced by physical stores as well as to cater to customers across the country. The Central as well as the state governments should identify the sectors that need immediate attention and craft a tangible economic stimulus to revive the economy.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Jun 30, 2020 8:00:00 pm