The ongoing health crisis in the country, owing to the onslaught of Covid-19 pandemic, has spiked unemployment rate to a staggering 27.11%. The corona-driven lockdown, which was imposed on 24 March, brought India’s business activity in a halt, leaving 121.5 millions Indians jobless. As per the recent data published by the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy, India witnessed a double digit hike in its unemployment rate in a matter of a month. On 15 March the unemployment rate stood at 6.74%, while on 19 April it reached 26.19%. However, a slight drop in the rate in the following week, when it slipped to 21.05%, brought a ray of hope. Though the hope did not last long as last week, which ended on May 3, the unemployment rate again went up to 27.1%.
The CMIE observed that the rate of unemployment was relatively higher in the urban areas as compared to the rural areas, i.e. 29.22% and 26.69% respectivly. As per the data it is the urban areas which had mainly fallen into the clutches of coronavirus as they had a higher number of the red zones.
The data compiled by the Mumbai-based think tank revealed that as of the end of April, Puducherry in South India was hit the hardest by the unemployment wave with its rate reaching 75.8%, followed by Tamil Nadu 49.8%, Jharkhand 47.1% and Bihar 46.6%. The CMIE data showed that Hilly States witnessed the least incidence of unemployment with the lowest rate in Himachal Pradesh 2.2%, followed by Sikkim 2.3% and Uttarakhand at 6.5%.
India, which is experiencing the lengthiest and most severe lockdowns in the world, implemented the nations-wide closing of economy to curtail the spread of deadly contagion. But the very move, which was put in place to save people’s life has dragged the country towards one of the worst economic crisis where many have to choose between life and livelihood. Many economist said that given the government’s handling of the pandemic outbreak in the country, many could die of hunger before Covid-19. The miseries of migrants workers in the lockdown forced them to flee from urban centres to rural areas, where they can atleast grow their food if not buy. The recent flight of workers including in Delhi and Mumbai is expected to badly hit economic activity of the country, the months ahead.
On Friday, Punjab National Bank, India’s second largest lender saw 6.7% drop in its share …