Cronoa Crisis: “What Next” for the choice we have already made
By Rezaul Hossain | April 12, 2020


Coronavirus pandemic is an economy-shattering event whose far-ranging consequences we can only begin to imagine today.

This much is certain: Just as this disease has shattered lives, disrupted markets and exposed the actual competence of each and every professional it will lead to permanent economic and social crisis in the whole world.

Country is looking for ways to respond to this corona pandemic. The common strategies followed by us, like most other policy maker of the world, is “Lock down strategies” that copied from Chinese experience and even other countries is also following this strategy too.

What is beyond many of our comprehend is that “Lock down” was one of the element that taken by other countries Govt. It included may other activities targeting to ensure social and economic balance. In other word, it can be said, we have to clear ourselves what Actual “Lock down” stand for?

Lock down is “not a remedy of this pandemic” rather it’s a strategy of TIME BUYING ACTIVITY/ACTION to slow down the spread and during the time take quick actions to • Identification of the patient
• Sampling and preparation for sufficient kits
• Isolate them from further contaminating others
• Giving caring units time to prepare to face the situation
• Vaccination for the mass to get rid of the problem permanently
• Control the pandemic
• Awareness building “What to do” and “What not to do”

So far experience shows that the right policies make a difference in fighting the disease and mitigating its impact—but some of these policies come with difficult economic & social tradeoffs. Considering these facts this is the right time to ask ourselves another most important question “After Lock-down, what comes next?” Let us prepare ourselves for this obvious else the price we would pay can surpass far beyond Corona impact.

Before answering ourselves for this question, we have to understand few key on ground facts. Otherwise, the answer choice we would prepare would be non-practical. In my experience, I have seen several of our policies/choices go in vain just because it ignores the actual realities and lack of proper implementation plan.

Stimulus package:
The success of the stimulus package will be most effective if it reaches the right target group. It is highly critical that to Mitigating the impact of this severe shock requires providing support to the most vulnerable.

Initially stimulus packages ignored the Mass segment but better late than never. It seems most difficulties of these kind of packages are identification, transparency and proper distribution of money.

It is key to support vulnerable households and smaller businesses to mitigate the impact of this severe shock of corona crisis. To address that effective distribution can be ensured by forming a national task-forces that must including MFS, telecom, GIS experts.

Address the emergency work-force contribution and ensure proper nurturing:
Another key addressable issue to prepare for what next is to ensure right and proper movement of the emergency work force to stimulate the social and economic activities. Following workforce are key to ensure interim social and economic stability

• Law enforcing agency (LEA): Most crucial force to ensure social order and execute emergency national policies. Keeping internal order among this force will be the key at this time for a stable society. Also this force needs to know proper guidelines from the Govt. to ensure the social & economic balance.

• Medical personnel: This force is vital in maintaining the balance and save human loss. There has been some turmoil however, they are the key in controlling the social panic. For example On-ground realities is that even heart patients are not address in many hospital now a days. Un wanted situation may rise social unrest if such issues not address properly. Mass people must have the faith in the medical system.

• Media personnel: One of the key force of this time who can prepare the whole nation for next course of action with proper education and guidance. Authentic and standard information, right approach and positive mind set of this force is very vital to entice sense of responsibility of the society.

• Food-Chain workforce: Historically the producer of our Agro product suffered a lot. Intermediary crude people and lack of proper logistics system have crippled this force. In this pandemic if this force is not addressed properly, the society will face severe consequence, which is much worse effect than Corona pandemic itself. It says “Hungry man is most angry man”, this force must survive to ensure mental peace of the nation.

• FI work force: The back-bone of economy is “transaction” which completed after “settlement”. Bank play the vital role in this settlement process and itself can increase transactions multifold. Addressing this force will not only help maintaining the economy in the crisis time but also the aftermath of economic crisis can be controlled.

• E-commerce, Telecom Communication & MFS workforce: This force is very unique for our country and their involvement in informal economic actives is only known to very few people. Out of banking system 400 billion settlement happened through this force. Addressing this force will flatten upcoming the economic crisis.

Formulating “real policies” rather “policies” to protect “The pillar of economy”:
As I mentioned earlier, a slow and painful suffocation the economy going to face in near future. To my understanding three major economic pillar needs policy reformation considering the on ground realities:

Economic pillar of BD Key player in the filed On-ground realities
Remittance 1. Banking settlement
2. MFS settlement through banks
• Central bank circulates the banking guideline making them virtual
• RTGS is closed till end of march due to that inter banking transfer is non addressable
• Many branches are closed from end of March. Clients are suffering and gathering in only open branch
• Open branches are doing simple transactions. Bank don't want to take more than 5 lakh taka deposit is the actual reality
• Bank informing client that BB are not taking Cash from them. Bank vault limit is crossing thus they are refusing clients to deposit
• Online Bank transfer limit is just 5 lakh take a day which is settling mostly in next day. BFTN timeline is 11am hardly making on day transactions
• Retail and cash based industries took billion dollar transactional hit due to lack of banking settlement
• March-May is the pick remittance flow time, lack of settlement going to encourage Hundi and illegal money transfer
Garments 1. Mass Population (Worker)
2. Buyer
• Workers rushing to factories for their wages many workers are not sure about their future and families
• Fear is there, Mass population engaging in organized crime creating social disorder
• East people are earner and west people are spender, so some shops has to be open to cash in and withdraw money
Agro & Food Chain 1. Farmer & Producer
2. Logistic & distribution
• Poultry & Dairy industry in brink of destruction. There is high price in consumer level but producer not getting price
• Agro food price hit ever low in farmer level making them highly vulnerable to sustain
• Food distribution is drying out, opening door for social chaos even if there are ample stocks in warehouse
• Ramadan is the biggest transaction period in term of food consumption, lack of proper distribution will create further economic down fall

By Following few easy steps we can follow to flatten the upcoming economic impact like we have plan to flatten the carve of Pandemic:
• Address the upcoming economic crisis at policy level
• Ensure proper support for “real emergency economic activities” by supporting the key workforces and monitoring it
• Ensure “real banking service/Settlement” beyond current typical “open service” by actively involving BB
• Form a task-force including professionals who have knowledge and ground realities
• Include Fintech & MFS industry experts along with Geo experts for proper resources distribution
• Address the most vulnerable to this pandemic hit and directly benefit them in collaboration of NDB, Telecom, MFS
• Coordinate the national volunteer activities to ensure maximum and real reach
• At least we have to plan for next September

The future will say when we will be successful against this pandemic. Still awareness and the consequences of this disease are not sufficient in the ground level. Seeing the global practices it can easily be said that, Success in containing the virus will comes at the price of slowing economic activity, no matter whether social distancing and reduced mobility are voluntary or enforced. There is an inevitable consequence for this strategy that will be paid by economic turmoil and other associated disorder.

For our own well-being, we must ask ourselves at his very moment “What next?”

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