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200 mn jobs missing from Indian economy: Budget must address this crisis

If the government risks keeping its $200 billion fiscal spigots open, then it must aim to give the pandemic-scarred working class a fair shake.

economy, growth, jobs, unorganised, workers
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Since March 2020, India's informal economy has retreated into a shell. (File photo)

Andy Mukherjee | Bloomberg
When it comes to the focus of its Feb. 1 annual budget, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces a stark choice: between $200 billion and 200 million.

The first figure refers to the size of the budget deficit. Amid rising inflation and hardening global interest rates, is it wise to have a bloated shortfall for a third year? The second number should help with a possible answer: 200 million jobs are missing from the economy — they’ll be hard to revive without fiscal policy playing a supportive role.

Two years of Covid-19 have deepened the dichotomy in

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First Published: Jan 28 2022 | 7:29 AM IST

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