More than one-third of Indian households may run out of resources in another week and face distress without assistance after that, says a study based on data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy household survey.
The study on the impact of the lockdown on household income released on Tuesday also revealed that nearly 84% of households have suffered a decrease in monthly income, and that more than one-fourth of the country’s working age population is unemployed.
“Across India, 34% of all households report being able to survive for no more than one week without additional assistance,” said the study co-authored by CMIE chief economist Kaushik Krishnan, highlighting an urgent need for support to households at the lower end of the income spectrum.
“These figures suggest that the rapid distribution of in-kind or cash transfers is needed to prevent a sharp increase in malnutrition and severe deprivation,” it said.
The study found that the broad decline in household income coincided with a sharp spike in the rate of unemployment to 25.5% as on May 5 from 7.4% on March 21, as per the CMIE’s quarterly Consumer Pyramids Household Survey (CPHS).
It also revealed an urban-rural divide, with 65% of urban households reporting enough provisions for a week while only 54% of rural households said they have enough provisions.
Some states were more affected than others. While Delhi, Punjab and Karnataka were least affected, states like Bihar, Haryana and Jharkhand were among the worst affected, the study said.
This indicated the declining income had more to do with factors like per capita income before the lockdown, effectiveness of aid delivery and lockdown severity rather than extent of outbreak.
The study was authored by CMIE’s Krishnan, Marianne Bertrand, professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Heather Schofield, assistant professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Source : Times of India