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eISSN 2582-0427 || || Crossref Member || UGC-CARE Enlisted


The complete lockdown measures implemented in India to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the economic conditions of the working class of the country. The initial jolt pushed the unemployment figures to 23.52% in April 2020, and to date, the recovery has been far from satisfactory. The quarterly GDP growth data have indicated a negative real GDP growth for India for the fiscal year 2020-21. As data on employment, income, consumption, saving, borrowing, and access to different public utilities are available after a time-lag; there was no other option but to depend on micro-level studies to get an idea of the real picture on the ground. In this paper, we have attempted to assess the impact of the lockdown on the workers of unorganized sectors especially the self-employed and the daily wage earners of different service sectors from urban and semi-urban areas located in and around South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. The present study has found that the income of workers from the informal sectors has recorded a sharp decline during the lockdown period. As these workers primarily belong to the low-income group, their consumption expenditures have also declined concomitantly, reflecting their low economic endowments. Most of them didn’t have much savings to support the sudden decline in their income, thereby resulting in a decline in consumption expenditure. This decline is most severe for daily wage workers. This paper has argued in favour of direct cash transfer from the government to low-income people as the only way out to overcome the present crisis.

Keywords: COVID-19, Economy, Income, Informal sector, Unemployment.

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