by Vijay Mahajan:
According to the last published Census of India data, there are as many as 48.2 crore workers in India. Of these, only 3.3 crores are in the formal sector; the remaining 93% includes 11.9 crore farmers, 14.4 crore landless agricultural workers, and 21.9 crore non-agricultural workers. Almost none of them get a monthly paycheque or bank transfer. Their cash flows are dependent on them working.
Agricultural workers are paid daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on their contract with the farmer. But with COVID-19 bringing transportation, mandis, and market demand to a standstill, farmers are starting to face difficulties harvesting their rabi crop. As a result, they’re likely to stop hiring farm labourers, creating a serious cash flow crunch for both farmers and agricultural workers.
About the author:
Vijay Mahajan: Vijay Mahajan is CEO of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies. He founded PRADAN in 1982 and the BASIX Social Enterprise Group in 1996. Vijay has co-authored the book The Forgotten Sector and has written over 60 articles. He is also the chair of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a global microfinance forum. He is an alumnus of IIM-A and IIT-Delhi, and a mid-career fellow at Princeton University, USA.