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Around 66% workers lost jobs, 77% consuming less food than before the lockdown: Azim Premji University Survey

In Karnataka 44% of salaried wage workers reported that they had not been paid their salaries or they had received reduced salaries during the lockdown. (Photo: ANI)Premium
In Karnataka 44% of salaried wage workers reported that they had not been paid their salaries or they had received reduced salaries during the lockdown. (Photo: ANI)

Azim Premji University on Thursday released the findings of its survey carried out between 15 April and 15 May to understand the impact of the lockdown on livelihoods, and access to government relief schemes

Almost 66% of around 5000 respondents across 12 states claimed to have lost their jobs due to the covid-19 induced lockdown, according to a new survey.

Azim Premji University on Thursday released the findings of its survey carried out between 15 April and 15 May to understand the impact of the lockdown on livelihoods, and access to government relief schemes.

It added that around 77% of these households were consuming less food than before the lockdown and 47% of households did not even have enough money to buy even a week's worth of essential supplies.

The survey stated that the lockdown had taken a heavy toll on the economy, and particularly on vulnerable informal and migrant workers and their families. "Immediate as well as medium to long term, comprehensive policy measures are needed to counter these effects and chart the path to economic recovery," the report, released on Thursday, added.

In Karnataka 44% of salaried wage workers reported that they had not been paid their salaries or they had received reduced salaries during the lockdown.

The findings of the report comes even as the central and state governments are yet to calculate the economic impact of the two months of nationwide lockdown.

The hardest hit were daily wage labourers and other migrant workers who were stranded without money, work and sometimes food during the lockdown period. Urban centres like Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai among other large cities that is heavily dependent on migrant workers who are employed in sectors

like construction and civic work, witnessed a crisis when economic uncertainty forced them to demand that they be allowed to return to their homestates.

Urban workers, who include self employed, daily wage, casual and regular workers, were hardest hit, according to the survey findings.

"76 % of urban workers and 66% of rural workers lost their employment," the report added.

Agriculture,one of the few sectors that was allowed to function, saw the earnings of its workers fall by almost two thirds, the survey found.

Though the central and some state governments announced relief packages, only 30% of households claimed it had indeed received any assistance.

The B.S.Yediyurappa-led Karnataka government announced around 2200 crore in relief packages to mitigate the suffering of those hardest hit by the lockdown that include flower growers, washermen,barbers, auto and cab drivers among other sections of people.

The survey found that only 27% of vulnerable households received any form of cash transfer m from the government. The Congress party on Wednesday had criticised Yediyurappa for failing to deliver on the relief package.

The survey also found that at least six in ten households reported that they did not have enough money to buy even a week’s worth of essential items while eight in ten households reported a reduction in food intake.

A large section of migrant workers survivedwith the food and ration provided by private donors as the government was not able to scale up its distribution to cover most of these migrant workers.

The survey pointed out that the disruption in the Karnataka’s economy and labor markets is enormous and that livelihoods have been "devastated at unprecedented levels during the lockdown."

The team which conducted the survey suggested that governments universalise public distribution system, transfer at least 7000 for at least two months and expand government sponsored employment programmes like MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act).

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