Coronavirus Lockdown Could Lead to Famine, Possibly Worse -Surajit Das

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published Published on Mar 25, 2020   modified Modified on Mar 25, 2020

-Newsclick.in

Clearly, more than half of the Indian population would not be able to stay at home for long. Compensating them would cost around Rs 3 lakh crore or 1.5% of our current GDP. Does this Government have the will?

It is definitely easier for those whose income is not dependent on moving out, to stay put at home. Most casual labourers, those that are self-employed and daily-wage earners would not be able to self-quarantine themselves for long, since they will not earn if they do not venture out to work. They may still try for a week or ten days, but, if they do not get to work for between 15 days to a month, many of them would simply die of hunger. There could be food riots in the days to come, unless the government does something on an immediate basis.

According to the Periodic Labour Force Survey of 2017-18, the total estimated size of the workforce in India in 2017-18 was 37.2 crore. About 22.8% of them are salaried employees, 24.9% are casual labourers while the rest at 52.2% are self-employed. The numbers come to 8.5 crore regular employees, 9.3 crore casual labourers with the remaining 19.4 crore people being self-employed.

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Newsclick.in, 25 March, 2020, https://www.newsclick.in/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Nationwide-Lockdown-Impact-Famine


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