Rahul Bajaj, the former chairman of Indian two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto, feels that lockdowns due to Covid-19 will not only impact businesses and the economy, but also hit the job market adversely.
In his last address to the shareholders of the company, Rahul Bajaj said, "Let us also hope that we do not react to the epidemic by declaring more lockdowns, as we did the last time. For these will destroy business, employment and the economy without necessarily controlling the spread of the disease."
Bajaj expressed his concerns over what a series of state-wide lockdowns might do to businesses and economic growth in the ongoing financial year. Lashing out at state-level lockdowns to curb the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rahul Bajaj said, "More worryingly, I am concerned about Q1 FY2022 and what a series of state-wide lockdowns might do to businesses and economic growth."
According to Bajaj, the "rapidly accelerated vaccinations coupled with a strict enforcement of masks and social distancing would soon bring the second wave under control".
His thoughts were also echoed by the Bajaj Auto management. The two-wheeler manufacturer, in its annual report, claimed that "nationwide lockdown; not even localised state-wide lockdowns" were the solutions to the pandemic.
The report stated, "Today, there is enough evidence to show that these have not worked to limit the spread of the virus. Instead, such lockdowns create massive economic uncertainty; threaten the livelihood of daily workers and the poor; prompt needless urban-to-rural migration; and sharply accentuate fear in an already fearful milieu."
According to Bajaj Auto, the solution lies in a combination of strictly enforced safety protocols coupled with rapid vaccination of the population. It said, "Subject to basic safety and inoculation, work must continue. For that is what brings in the daily bread, feeds home and hearth and makes a nation grow."
Rahul Bajaj had stepped down as chairman and whole-time director of Bajaj Auto on April 1. He has been associated with Bajaj Auto since 1972. After he stepped down in April, Rahul Bajaj continued in the role of a consultant in the company. Rahul Bajaj's net worth is around $ 6.5 billion.