The recent occurrence of coronavirus pandemic has brought the issue of social security in India at the forefront. Large scale movement of migrant workers from the various cities of India was a great lesson for all the stakeholders. It made people realise the need for social security for all the members in the society and thus, there needs to be a great deal of discussion on this issue at all the levels.
The Production Linked Incentive Scheme announced recently by the Indian government under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is an important initiative needed for achieving the ambitious goal of becoming a $5-trillion economy. It covers various sectors that already have a considerable advantage but without realising the full potential.
The Indian handloom industry is one of the oldest and largest cottage industries in India with a standing ancient tradition dating back thousands of years for their excellent craftsmanship, representing the vibrant Indian culture. Indian artisans dating back to the Egyptian Babylonian times had such fine mastery over their fabrics. They were appreciated globally for their hand spinning, weaving and printing techniques that were handed down from generations. Among the largest in the world, this industry employs close to 10 million artisans in India and is considered the second-largest income-generating activity after agriculture in rural India. The crisis caused by COVID-19 has resulted in a sudden disruption of all businesses across the globe including the handloom sector. The sector has severely affected by the closure of the traditional and contemporary market for artisans. Recently, India has celebrated the National Handloom Day and it was on August 7, 2020, for the first time India does so without the All India Handloom Board. The Union Ministry of Textile has abolished the All India Handloom Board in consonance with the Government of India’s vision of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’ on August 3, 2020.
With the drastic spread of the Novel Corona Virus, Covid-19 originated from the city of Wuhan of China, Countries started declaring National Emergency and complete lockdown. Almost all sectors of the economy got severely affected by this, in which the most prominent sectors are Tourism and Hospitality sector. The tourism sector of a country generates foreign exchange, drives regional development, and directly supports various businesses and numerous types of jobs such as catering, tourist operators etc. The Hospitality Industry in itself is very vast and includes lodging, food and drink services, event planning, transportations and even theme parks, so the employment capacity is also quite high in this sector. According to the latest UN report, Global tourism which accounts for the 10% of total global GDP lost USD 320 billion in 5 months and more than 120 million jobs at risk due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The impact of the novel coronavirus on India’s tourism and hospitality sector jobs is nothing short of severe.
The Central government has extended the Rs.45,0000 crore Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 by another three months and has allowed the banks to invest more in better-rated NBFCs. The scheme was announced as a part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ Package to provide liquidity support to weaker NBFCs, housing finance companies and microfinance institutions.
The RBI has cleared a new loan restructuring scheme to help out borrowers in these COVID-19 stricken times. Earlier, the …
The mass exodus of migrant workers to their native villages following the temporary closing down of industries in urban areas to curb the COVID-19 outbreak has increased the demand for employment in Rural India. This situation creates a new opportunity to improve the rural economy by employing such population in infrastructure development and other vital government projects like waste management and improving access to water in rural India. To utilise this opportunity, the government had launched Gram Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan in select states. However, the new initiative has diluted the role of MGNREGS, another similar but comprehensive rural employment generation scheme.
The Parliament recently passed the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The mining sector in India has been going under a face change since last year as the government took a series of actions regarding the mining sector. In the fourth tranche of the Atmanirbhar economic package, the Finance Minister spelled out reforms in the Mining sector. In this background, it is important to study the above-mentioned Bill.
In a country where around 90% workforce is engaged in an unorganized sector, the framing of social security schemes is a very challenging task. The humungous population with dynamic demographic patterns, diverse socio-economic conditions from state to state, and huge informal sector make the task of designing a foolproof scheme faces many structural and functional challenges. On this backdrop the Atal Pension Yojana, the flagship social security scheme, must be analyzed for its efficacy. Recently, it completed five years of its operation.