Economists, activists moot 7-point revival plan

It includes help for migrant workers to go home in 10 days

A group of economists and activists on Friday proposed a seven-point plan, which includes helping migrant workers go home in 10 days and free universal healthcare services to COVID-19 patients, to address the economic, health and humanitarian crisis due to the pandemic. In a statement, the group of 24 experts said the Centre had failed to address the urgent need for economic support to those who had been hit by the crisis.

The plan, ‘Mission Jai Hind’, included sending migrant workers to their native towns and villages within 10 days, free of charge and with dignity. It suggested free healthcare services, including testing, to all COVID-19 patients as well as front-line workers and their families.

The group also proposed giving universal access for six months to those who did not have ration cards.

The plan proposed enhancing rural job guarantees under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and instituting a similar scheme for urban India. It also proposed a cash compensation for the loss of livelihoods and a three-month waiver of loan repayments for farmers, small businesses and those who have taken home loans for the first time.

The group also proposed a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to raising resources, which should be shared by the Centre and the States evenly.

It included former Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen, Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Jayati Ghosh and former Navy chief L. Ramdas.

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