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MNM chief asks PM to help out workers in unorganised sector

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

: Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief

Kamal Haasan on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the welfare of workers in the informal sector amidst the coronavirus outbreak, suggesting the government can consider direct cash transfer for them.

Haasan wrote an "open letter" to the Prime Minister, in which he said, "More than 90 percent of our workforce is in the informal sector."

"...they are our construction workers, agriculture and manual labourers, fishermen, MSME workers and so on," he said in the letter uploaded on his official Twitter handle.

"I write this letter to urge the government to not lose sight of the plight of these unsung heroes who toil hard to power our economy and build our nation," he said.

The Economic Response Taskforce set up by the government should address the issue with alacrity, he added.

Modi had, on March 19, announced setting up of a 'COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force' to decide on relief package for sectors hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Haasan said economic experts had suggested slew of measures including tax breaks, deferred credits and grants which would benefit the industrialists and employers, which is "essential".

"But the taskforce should ensure there is no drop in wages of our labour force. It should also consider direct cash transfer to this most vulnerable populace to enable them tide over this crisis," he said.

While human lives are in danger and all steps need to be taken to save them, the fear of virus should not be compounded by the fear of loss of livelihood, Haasan added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 20:02 IST