Stating that the economic stimulus package announced by the central government “virtually ignores the urgent need for economic support to ordinary citizens whose lives and livelihoods have been shattered by the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown”, several economists and intellectuals have come together to propose a 7-point agenda in response to the economic and health crisis in the country.
Titled ‘Mission Jai Hind’, the plan provides guidelines to state and central governments to rebuild lives and livelihoods.
The plan has the support of leading intellectuals like Yogendra Yadav, Ramachandra Guha, Bezwada Wilson, Jean Dreze, Harsh Mander and others and proposes the principle of “Whatever it takes” to raise resources for Mission Jain Hind. All the resources (cash, real estate, property, bonds, etc) with the citizens or within the nation must be treated as national resources available during this crisis.
- Migrants must be helped to go back home within 10 days
- Universal and free health care for all Covid patients
- Universal access to expanded ration for six months
- Enhance the job guarantee in rural and urban India
- Cash compensation for loss of job or livelihood
- Three months interest waiver for farmers, small business, house loans
- National revival mission not to be constrained by lack of resources
Finance minister Nirmala Sithraman has announced a slew of measures for micro, small and medium enterprises, in order to boost growth and help employment.
The plan also proposes that in rural areas MNREGS job guarantee should be expanded to 200 days per household, while also compensating MNREGS workers for job loss during lockdown and payment of their pending wages. It also proposes an urban employment guarantee for 100 days per person for this year.
The plan also suggests compensation for loss of job, salary or livelihood, while recommending that no interest should be charged for weaker sections till the economy revives. It suggests three months of loan deferment and interest waiver for farmers, small business and for first-time house loans.
The plan also propagates universal access, including those who do not possess a ration card, to expanded ration (10 kg foodgrains, 1.5 kg daal, 800 ml cooking oil, 500 gm sugar per person per month) for six months so that no one goes hungry during this crisis.
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