Care economy: Why India must recognise and invest in care work -Mitali Nikore

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published Published on Apr 14, 2021   modified Modified on Apr 17, 2021

-The Indian Express

Building infrastructure and services, including pre-primary education, maternity, disability and sickness benefits, and long-term care, will help ensure that India’s post-COVID recovery is equitable and gender-inclusive.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “infrastructure” as “the basic systems and services that are needed in order to support an economy.” Traditionally, infrastructure has been understood and interpreted to mean physical, immovable assets, primarily in the energy, transport, telecommunications and water sectors.

Over the last few years, there has been an increasing recognition that “infrastructure” should be more broadly defined. Jennifer Bennett, Robert Kornfeld, Daniel Sichel and David Wasshausen of the National Bureau of Economic Research, US, argue that economies need to include social infrastructure for education and health sectors, and advanced digital infrastructure in the ambit of the term. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals call on governments to build sustainable, climate resilient facilities or green infrastructure, which account for environmental impacts.

And now, the American Jobs Plan unveiled by the Joe Biden Administration has put the spotlight on another sector — care economy infrastructure.

The $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan proposes to allocate $400 billion towards constructing affordable home or community-based facilities for elderly care and $25 billion for a Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund to upgrade government childcare centres. The plan also proposes to incentivise private sector firms, so that they receive tax credits for expenditures upto $500,000 on building on-site child-care facilities.

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The Indian Express, 14 April, 2021,

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