Official statistics released on Monday indicated that India’s GDP shrank by 7.3 percent in 2020-21. It is the worst recession of India since independence, as coronavirus lockdowns displaced millions of people.
After two consecutive quarters of decline, Asia’s third-largest economy increased by 1.6 percent between January and March, the fourth fiscal quarter, after leaving its first “technical recession” since 1947.
According to a research by Bangalore’s Azim Premji University, almost 230 million Indians plunged into poverty as a result of the epidemic last year, with the poor classified as those living on less than 375 rupees ($5) a day.
After an increase of COVID-19 instances in April and May, a loosening of limitations towards the end of 2020 helped fuel a small rebound in activity. However, this may be short-lived.
According to the Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy, India’s devastating second wave, which has killed 160,000 people in eight weeks, triggered further lockdowns and resulted in 7.3 million people losing their jobs in April alone.
In a nation where 90 percent of the workforce is employed in the informal sector, with no social safety net, and millions of people do not qualify for emergency government supplies, this means further suffering.
Earlier on Sunday, at least 25 people died after drinking toxic alcohol in northern India, police said on Sunday.
Police arrested 10 men for selling the liquor in sprawling Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.
“So far 25 persons have died and a few others are admitted in the hospital and are undergoing treatment. Ten persons have been arrested,” Ajab Singh, a police spokesperson, told AFP.
Local media reported that the liquor was purchased on Thursday from a shop run by two brothers.
Liquor stores in the state had been shuttered under a coronavirus lockdown imposed to combat a devastating wave. About 160,000 people have died countrywide since April 1.
But as case numbers started to slow, Uttar Pradesh allowed liquor sales to resume in some districts on May 11 with restricted hours.—AFP