12 Crore Indians Lost Jobs Last Month Amid Virus Lockdown: Think Tank
Some 122 million Indians were forced out of jobs last month alone, according to estimates from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, a private sector think tank. Daily wage workers and those employed by small businesses have taken the worst hit. These include hawkers, roadside vendors, workers employed in the construction industry and many who eke out a living by pushing handcarts and rickshaws.
“Much of the Indian government’s efforts to mitigate poverty over the years could be negated in a matter of just a few months,” said Ashwajit Singh, managing director of IPE Global, a development sector consultancy that advises several multinational aid agencies. Noting that he did not expect unemployment rates to improve this year, Singh said: “More people could die from hunger than the virus.”
Mr Singh points to a United Nations University study estimating 104 million Indians could fall below the World Bank-determined poverty line of $3.2 a day for lower-middle-income countries. This will take the proportion of people living in poverty from 60% – or 812 million currently, to 68% or 920 million – a situation last seen in the country more than a decade ago, he said.