Lockdown Extensions

It is Lockdown 4 of central government. State governments have their own lockdowns. People are caught in the middle.
Narendra Modi announced lockdown for 21 days. First extension was for 19 days, second for 14 days, third for 14 days which is Lockdown 4 and ends on 31/5/2020.
Maharashtra had its lockdown before that of central government. Some other states also had lockdowns and had extended lockdowns on their own.
There should be one lockdown; either by state or by centre. When states relax conditions of central lockdown they get letters to follow rules strictly. When states have additional restrictions there is no letter. This is wrong. If states can not relax restrictions they should not also not add restrictions.
Karnataka has 14 days government quarantine for any person who goes there. The person has to pay for quarantine. Further Karnataka has banned entry of people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Many migrant workers from Karnataka who wanted to return from Maharashtra are stuck at Belgaum border.
Air travel within India is set to resume from 25/5/2020. It is unlikely many will go to Karnataka by air. Civil Aviation Ministry has fixed air fares.
Migrant workers are badly hit. Many walked long distances to reach their native places. Some died on the way due to hunger and exhaustion. Of them 16 slept on tracks and were run over by a train. One person ran out of money, mobile balance and battery and hanged himself. Some workers died in accidents. There is exodus from big cities to distant villages.
Lockdown 1 and extensions were justified on the ground that they were necessary to prevent spread of Corona. One chart showed zero Corona case on 16/5/2020. The opposite happened. Corona cases continue to rise every day. Before Lockdown 1 the cases were around 500. Now they are around 1,18,000.
What is an essential service or a non-essential service is a matter of subjective opinion. For people whose life depends on an income from a job it is an essential service. For barbers, gymnasium owners, restaurant owners, theatre owners and many such people, their service is an essential service. For governments they are non-essential services.
Show business is hit. Some producers could not wait for theatres to open and they released their films on Amazon Prime or Netflix.

RBI and Gold

RBI should have all its gold in India.

The Indian Express of 11/5/2020 has reported that total holdings of the yellow metal at 653.01 tonnes, RBI gold reserves up 40.4 tonnes in 2019-20, more than half of total holdings held overseas. Of these 360.71 tonnes was in Bank of England and Bank for International Settlements.

RBI should get this gold back to India immediately. There is no such thing as safe custody in Bank of England. When UK went against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and recognised Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s Acting President it refused to return Venezuela’s gold which was in Bank of England’s custody. RBI should get back its gold from UK and every other place.

Some days back it was reported on Kaiser Report that many have sold same gold multiple times and if all the buyer’s demand their gold at one time the sellers do not have gold to give them. RBI should demand gold wherever it has bought it.

Bank for International Settlements was established in 1930. It has 62 Central Banks as members. Its head office is in Basel and two offices are in Hong Kong and Mexico City. Its Board of Directors has 18 Directors. Central Bank Governors of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, UK and USA are ex-officio Directors. These six Directors may jointly appoint one other member of their nationality. Eleven Governors of other member banks are elected as members. RBI’s Shaktikanta Das is a Director of BIS.

In UN Security Council five Permanent Members dominate with veto power. In BIS six countries with seven Directors dominate. IN UNSC and BIS, USA dominates more than others. India should take back its gold with BIS.

India should not have money in foreign banks. On 20/4/2020 Venezuela’s Central Bank accused USA of vulgar plundering after it transferred Venezuela’s 342 million dollars from Citibank account to Federal Reserve.

Corona Side Effects

There have been many side effects of Corona; some good, some bad.

Lockdowns were response to Corona. Central government imposed lockdown on the whole country with effect from 25/3/2020 for 21 days and later extended it by 19 days. State governments have imposed lockdowns which started before central lockdown.

Pollution is down. Air is clean. People of Jalandhar can see Himalaya mountains 120 miles away.

Ganges is clean. Its water is potable.

Newspapers were not printed for many days. That saved lot of newsprint and trees.

Oil price has come down. At one time price became less than zero which meant seller had to pay buyer.

Many people have lost incomes. Closure of cloth and other shops, educational institutions, factories, gymnasia, studios and theatres has resulted in loss of business and income for many. There is no certainty about annual and board examinations and academic years.

Migrant workers were caught unawares by central lockdown. Modi had given 59 hours time for Janata curfew, 69 hours for clapping, 60 hours for candle lighting and for lockdown four hours. This caused misery for migrant workers who walked miles to return to their native places and some died on the way. Some were locked up and treated like criminals.

Old TV serials are back. Unexpected income for their producers.

Domestic violence is up. Many wives did not have time to go to their maternal homes.

No public religious gatherings meant no public celebration of festivals.

Sports events cancelled. Bad for athletes, organisers, viewers and sports channels. Wimbledon had pandemic insurance. So they did not lose.

Some alcoholics committed suicide due to close of liquor shops. Some drank diluted sanitiser.
Wild animals are seen on roads.

Sweden did not impose lockdown. It did not do badly compared to countries that imposed lockdown.