NYT reports the disparity of effects of lockdown on Indians

Image: AP

Lockdown in India has affected the population in an unequal manner. The measures that came with dealing with the coronavirus show a deep bias towards inequality in the society.

An NYT opinion underscored that India was copying measures that rich countries take to protect public safety and welfare but that low-income countries cannot afford it.

The economy is estimated to contract by nearly 6 percent this year. A growth rate that was unseen in the last 40 years.

Along with the deaths from coronavirus, huge number of people dies from tuberculosis or diarrhea. The lockdown in this situation has brought debilitating consequences for rural Indians.

In the same way, estimates show that each week lockdown is pushing tens of millions below the poverty line. This has potential to undo the millions of people who were brought out of poverty in the last few decades.

This calls for spending from the government. But constrained by high public debt and a large deficit, India’s government has increased spending less than 2 percent of gross domestic product since the lockdown began while on the other hand United States has spent 12 percent of its GDP.

According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the unemployment rate has tripled since the lockdown and stands at 24 per cent. Indian migrant workers who constitute around 140 million of the population have been stranded since then with no jobs to feed their families.

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