PANDEMIC INDUCED UNEMPLOYMENT – ROLE OF STATE BY DEVANSHI SAXENA@LEXCLIQ

PANDEMIC INDUCED UNEMPLOYMENT – ROLE OF STATE

 

The government of a country has a huge responsibility to ensure betterment of its each and every citizen whether it’s ensuring safety, managing affairs or economic security. In the times of pandemic, the role of state becomes more important, accountable and crucial. The road ahead for the country and its economy look bleak. The way pandemic is spreading; it has attacked all sectors of economy creating job loss and has left the lower and vulnerable class in peril especially migrants and workers. The government is required to take unprecedented steps to control this grave situation. The union as well a state government needs to give direct income support to those who have been unemployed as a result of covid-19.

The state has introduced many schemes and provisions to provide financial assistance to workers of both unorganised and organized sector of economy. One is Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojna, (ABRY) to incentivize creation of new jobs during COVID-19 recovery. Under this scheme the union is providing grant to the section of organized sector that may lose job due to pandemic. Atal Beena Vyakti Kalian Yojna  is also providing unemployment insurance to workers who have registered to the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) scheme, will cover such workers during the pandemic.

According to Union Labour and Employment Ministry migrant workers have  been provide with financial assistance from Building and other Construction Workers’ Cess Fund. Complaints of the workers  have also been resolved through these Control Rooms and due to the intervention of this ministry and more than 2,00,000 workers were paid their due wages amounting to about Rs 295 crores. Also, the  Ministry of Labour and Employment  has also issued advisory guidelines for all the state governments /UTs  for labor welfare and employment. Though the government has launched many schemes but repeated policy interventions and monitoring of existing schemes and initiatives at the ground level are required to achieve consistent improvement for the welfare of the country.

To increase employment and tackle wider issue, the government can create job opportunities to engage the working class along with improving economy of the country and the  moves like tax cuts and direct incentives to workers and industries could also provide some boost to the dwindling Indian economy along with unemployment. Given the times, the government can use targeted approach to solve job crisis. Almost every state government department, central ministry, universities, court and public schools is short staffed and can be utilized by filling these vacancies which have been vacant for several years.

The government can also implement innovative measure like kurzarbeit to tackle unemployment which is the need of the hour as solving the unemployment crisis can also revive the Indian economy. Kurzarbeit is a social insurance program whereby employers reduce their employees’ working hours instead of laying them off. The government can pump more money into boosting labour-intensive sectors such as housing and infrastructure.  Besides increasing spends on infrastructure, the government needs to reduce the good and services tax (GST) rate for sectors like auto and construction to spur output. If properly implemented, these approaches can reduce the unemployment level and can help those who have been affected severely by the pandemic.

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