Second wave of COVID-19 rendered 22.7 million Indians jobless: Mahesh Vyas


New Delhi: The second wave of COVID-19 rendered millions of Indians jobless with 22.7 million jobs in being lost in just two months (April & May), Mahesh Vyas, Chief of Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said.

“We lost 22.7 million jobs in April & May during second wave. Total number of jobs in the country is of the order of 400 million. Of these 400 million people who were employed, 22.7 million lost their jobs in past 2 months,” said an ANI report, quoting Vyas.

Earlier this week, a PTI report citing Vyas had said that around 97 per cent of households’ incomes have declined since the beginning of the COVID pandemic last year.

The unemployment rate measured by the think-tank is expected to come at 12 per cent at the end of May as against 8 per cent in April, Vyas told PTI, adding this signifies that about 10 million or 1 crore Indians have lost jobs in this period.

Unemployment rate had touched a record high of 23.5 per cent in May 2020 because of the national lockdown. Many experts opine that the second wave of infections has peaked and states will slowly start to ease the economic activity-impacting restrictions in a calibrated fashion, said the PTI report.

Vyas further told the news agency that an unemployment rate of 3-4 per cent should be considered as “normal” for the Indian economy, hinting that the unemployment number will have to decline for longer before the situation improves.

Meanwhile, the government on Monday released India`s GDP figures, with data showing that India’s economy contracted by less-than-expected 7.3 percent in the fiscal year ended March 2021.

The data furnished by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed that real GDP or Gross Domestic Product at constant (2011-12) prices in 2020-21 attained a level of Rs 135.13 lakh crore, as against the `first revised estimate` of GDP for the year 2019-20 of Rs 145.69 lakh crore.

“`GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q4` of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 38.96 lakh crore, as against Rs 38.33 lakh crore in Q4 of 2019-20, showing a growth of 1.6 per cent,” according to the GDP estimates released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).Besides, the CSO said: “There was a sharp spike from Rs 2.27 lakh crore in BE 2020-21 to Rs 5.95 lakh crore in the revised Estimates for the major subsidies (especially food subsidies) of Centre, presented in Budget 2021-22, in RE 2020-21.”

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