Amidst the whole trouble around the lockdown induced slowing down of the Indian economy, the rural Indian has stood to gain the most. Reports have confirmed that the unemployment rate has seen a consistent drop since first week of May. According to Citigroup analysis report, the main reason for this is government handouts to migrants coming back to their states, bumper crop and a favourable monsoon.
Further, according to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt., rural unemployment rate has seen a decent fall from a peak of 26 percent to a current rate of around 7.3 percent.
The government has induced almost Rs. 1.5 trillion ($19.9 billion) into the rural economy after March through various welfare programs and state-sponsored buying of crops. Currently, the sale of tractors and two wheelers apart from fertilizer sales that are much better in the rural areas than the urban, are also showing a healthier recovery for the rural Indians.
The rural areas are also going to see the return of many more migrant workers, who are now going to find more employment opportunities. Due to India’s plans to attract more foreign investment, five states have already started relaxing labour laws and creating a pool of industrial jobs for such returning migrants. It is confirmed that around Rs. 500 billion is slated to be spent over the next 125 days on public works in selected districts where migrants have returned. Rural growth is said to be robust and will continue to show the same trend throughout the year. According to economists, it is easier to sensitized the rural Indian and therefore social distancing protocols would not be difficult to maintain in these regions. The challenge essentially lies in cities which are bursting on the hems due to a surge of migrant workers looking for work and livelihood from the rural areas of India. With most having returned back in the lockdown periods, the saturation levels in cities is also coming down. However, contraction numbers are worst in India’s metro city states. These include Maharashtra and Delhi. India’s contraction numbers have crossed the one million mark with many cases reported daily.
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