Corona Crisis: What is 'Mission Jai Hind' Action Plan Drafted by 22 Economists and Intellectuals?
NEW DELHI, MAY 23— It is a seven-point Plan of Action with some urgent steps that Central and State governments “must take to rebuild lives and livelihoods” affected by the Coronavirus crisis, says a group of 22 economists, intellectuals and activists who have drafted the plan.
Three most important recommendations are: return of migrant workers to their homes within 10 days, giving cash in the hands of people and ration for six months.
In a joint statement, they said the central government’s Rs 20 lakh crore package has “ignored the urgent need for economic support to ordinary citizens.”
“The central government has announced a “stimulus package” that virtually ignores the urgent need for economic support to ordinary citizens whose lives and livelihoods have been shattered by the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown. Social security measures for all are not only a moral imperative but also the best way of regenerating purchasing power and reviving the economy. In this context, some of the leading economists, public intellectuals and activists have proposed an alternative approach where people’s needs and wellbeing take centre-stage,” they said.
Seven Broad Points of Action Plan:
--Migrants must be helped to go back home within 10 days
--Universal and free health care for all Covid patients
--Universal access to expanded ration for six months
--Enhance the job guarantee in rural and urban India
--Cash compensation for loss of job or livelihood
-- Three months interest waiver for farmers, small business, house loans
--National revival mission not to be constrained by lack of resources
The Plan of Action has been endorsed by prominent economists, including Pranab Bardhan, Deepak Nayyar, Jean Dreze, Abhijit Sen, Jayati Gosh, and intellectuals, including Rajmohan Gnahdi, Ramchandra Guha, Harsh Mander, Yogendra Yadav, Admiral Ramdas and Akar Patel.
They have elaborated these seven points. Like in job guarantee section, they have demanded 200 days of guaranteed work this year for each family holding MNREGS card and 100 days job per person in urban areas.
Pt 7.1 has attracted undue attention & interpreted to mean a call for nationalisation/expropriation of private property This was far from our intention— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) May 23, 2020
Reformulated it as below
Hope the debate will focus on the plan outlined to address health, economic & humanitarian crisis https://t.co/v6EGSGIpY6 pic.twitter.com/zaMme8TFwK
On healthcare front, they want easy access to free testing for all symptomatic persons; adequate arrangements, including use of private infrastructure, for free institutional quarantine; equipped hospitals, ICU beds and ventilators; complete one year medical and economic cover against Covid to all frontline workers and their families.
They have also proposed compensation for those who have lost job or businesses.
For resources for this Action Plan, they have said that this “national revival mission” should not be constrained by lack of resources. “The government must explore emergency ways of raising resources going beyond the usual set of taxes and levies to cope with the problem of funding large relief packages,” they said. They have also demanded the central government to share at least 50% of the additional revenue raised for this purpose with the state governments.
In the Action Plan released on Friday, they had made a recommendation which led to controversy on social media. “All the resources (cash, real estate, property, bonds, etc) with the citizens or within the nation must be treated as national resources available during this crisis,” they had said. After criticism, however, they replaced the recommendation with the above one.
Yogendra Yadav went to twitter and made a clarification about the controversial point.
“Pt 7.1 has attracted undue attention & interpreted to mean a call for nationalisation/expropriation of private property. This was far from our intention Reformulated it as below. Hope the debate will focus on the plan outlined to address health, economic & humanitarian crisis,” he said.