Easing lockdown restriction along with new guidelines to help developers run their projects with sheer efficacy and minimum health hazards is a breather for many parts of the economy. As per KPMG’s recent report, projects worth more than Rs 59 lakh crore that is under the process of development has faced turbulence due to pandemic and lockdown. It further iterates that the sector employs over 49 million people, which is 12 per cent of the nation’s workforce.
Clearly with these numbers, one can easily understand the importance of the construction sector (real estate to be precise) in the Indian economy. For reviving India from the on-going financial crisis, it is of great importance to bring back to life one of its premier industries.
This recommencement of construction activities, be it on the lower level will be a sign of relief. It will bring a wave of optimism for investors, developers, workers, employees, and homebuyers. With this track, in the time to come, it will ensure a significant cash flows, especially for projects that were close to completion, and got delayed due to nation lockdown It will further unlock investment potential for investors and homebuyers.
But the situation seems likely to be improving by 2021 or 2022; reasons being a limited workforce, unavailability of raw material and maintaining social distancing. The industry though opened, will need time, determination and patience to bounce back in full power. Its a labour-intensive industry. Migrant workers comprise a majority of workforces in the construction sector and this national lockdown has resulted in a huge burden for them. Their tales of struggles is all out and loud. Many were and still are stuck in distant states, and are unable to return home and those who have returned are not likely to be returning any soon.
With less manpower and shaky morale, efficient operations are not expected from them. At the same time, once the lockdown is lifted, those who couldn’t travel or were stuck will be rushing home, causing a labour shortage. Unavailability and less availability of raw material is the second most stressful factor. Even though recently, the government has allowed the transportation of essential and non-essential goods. This has enabled the realty sector to acquire raw materials with sheer ease, but it has just started with cautions. Lastly, on operational sites, contractors and real estate developers are expected to maintain social distancing, with proper hygiene and safety measures. One cannot forget that construction is a labour-intensive industry. Different projects have different and diverse workforce requirements. To maintain social distancing then with less man force will be a tough task.
Though the government has broken the trumpet on lockdown, it is a long journey for the industry to reach and start all over again, with same prosperous figures and enthusiasm that of a pre lockdown.