Coronavirus crisis: Modi’s Jan Dhan accounts can be used to help daily wage workers, suggests FICCI

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Updated: Mar 24, 2020 2:07 PM

Industry body FICCI has suggested the government to use Jan Dhan accounts to facilitate a one time payment to daily wage workers as over 500 districts in the country have been put under lockdown.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Modi government, womens bank account, financial inclusion, Narendra Modi, MicroSave ConsultingAmong its other suggestions to protect the interest of daily wage laborers, the body said that the government can also look into handing cash to low income earners.

Industry body FICCI has suggested the government to use Jan Dhan accounts to facilitate a one time payment to daily wage workers as over 500 districts in the country have been put under lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. “One-time payment by transfer of Rs 5,000 to daily wage earners’ Jan Dhan accounts (below the poverty line) to meet the daily needs in view of loss of wages due to lock down,” FICCI said in a report on Monday. Among its other suggestions to protect the interest of daily wage laborers, the body said that the government can also look into handing cash to low income earners. This will be in line with other developed economies as they have also moved to help workers in these testing times. 

For those who are employed under MNREGA, FICCI suggests that the government can consider special provisions. “With harvesting season about to start, the government may consider special provisions to support MNREGA workers[through upfront payments] and other extension services including agri machinery providers,” it said. Also, since there has been a lockdown, employers may consider laying off workers in sectors such as restaurants and hospitality and this will lead to serious problems for these employees. To avoid such a scenario, FICCI suggests that the government must provide some incentive to employers to not churn out the workers. “Since a large number of informal workers could lose their jobs especially in the retail, hospitality, travel, construction sector, the government can consider giving incentives for employers to keep the workers, while the coronavirus problem tides over.” Restaurant industry has already warned that it may have to let go of staff to keep costs minimum. 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation today as the scare of the coronavirus outbreak continues. The virus has so far claimed nine lives in the country and the infected cases are nearing 500 mark. 

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