Increase 3-4 fold increase in short-term measures, experts urge PM and CMs | India News


NEW DELHI: Over 300 top economists, social scientists, workers’ organizations and former civil servants have appealed to the Centre and states to transfer at least Rs 6,000 per month to each Jan Dhan woman account holders.
They have also suggested state governments to provide at least 10 kg free rations per person per month, along with other necessary items amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
In an appeal to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief ministers on a letterhead of Indian society of labour economics, they have proposed urgent additional measures that are required to address critical gaps that exist in the short-term relief measures announced so far. They have sought three to four fold increase of the current short-term relief package for impacted informal workers.
The signatories include Deepak Nayyar, former chief economic advisor, Abhijit Sen and N C Saxena, former members of erstwhile Planning Commission, Rakesh Mohan, former deputy governor of RBI, Ashok Gulati, Lord Meghnad Desai , British economist and Labour Party politician. While they have welcomed Centre’s Rs 1.7 trillion package and various other measures taken by state governments, they have said there is need to do more.
The experts have suggested retention of contract employees and payment of full wages to them. “The Central government has been requested to come out with a scheme to compensate the unorganised and MSME sector for payment of wages to contract and temporary employees during the lockdown,” the letter said.
They have also urged the governments to provide ex gratia payments and to ensure that no needy person or household remains outside the social protection net being created to cope with the current calamitous conditions.
The experts have suggested that procurement of foodgrains at MSP and storage by the FCI and state agencies need to be enhanced to prevent a famine like condition from evolving. They have also said that there is a need to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of the front-line workers, including those engaged in essential services on behalf of governments including delivery workers, employees in chemist shops.



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