Why Modi Govt Looked the Other Way on Giving Cash Relief During Pandemic -Prabhat Patnaik
Timidity vis-à-vis international finance capital, callousness toward people, and cynicism in manipulating the electorate and legislators, have made the Modi government one of the most ultra-Right governments in the world.
The Narendra Modi government must be the most timid in the world vis-à-vis international finance capital. By the same token, it must be the most callous in the world vis-à-vis the working people of the country. The one is the flip side of the other; and the government’s economic policy during the pandemic bears ample testimony to its timidity-cum- callousness.
All the advanced country governments provided sizeable relief packages to their populations whose income sources had dried up because of the pandemic and the associated lockdown. Even Donald Trump’s United States unveiled a package amounting to 10% of GDP, which also included cash transfers to every household for several months.
In India, by contrast, despite the almost unanimous demand by the Opposition parties, by economists, and by civil society organisations to give a cash transfer of Rs 7,000 per household per month to all non-income tax-paying households for several months, the government did nothing of the sort. Some paltry sums were promised to a few specific target groups, and even these it appears did not reach them. In the midst of the pandemic, when as much as a quarter of the earlier-employed workforce at one point found itself without work and hence any income, the government merely looked the other way.
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Newsclick.in, 9 January, 2021, https://www.newsclick.in/Why-Modi-Govt-Looked-Way-Giving-Cash-Relief-During-Pandemic?fbclid=IwAR3GJ_3SAbvVF54biTqr0Bk1com9hAJrhpJ4cdY2jPj6HUXlrh0oX0TVPY0