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Over the last few quarters, unemployment figures in India have been rising steadily. However, new data has revealed the shocking increase in the number of India’s poor as well.
A recent study by Santosh Mehrotra, a research fellow at the IZA Institute of Labour Economics in Bonn, Germany and his colleague, Jajati Keshari Parida mentions that, in the last eight years (until 2020) the number of people living below the national Tendulkar poverty line has increased by 76 million; the first instance in India’s history of such a sharp uptick in the number of poor in the country.
What makes this revelation more shocking is that this data considers the time period up until the onset of COVID-19, which means that this unprecedented rise in the number of people living below the poverty line happened before the pandemic even hit.
The Wire’s Mitali Mukherjee speaks to Mehrotra in order to understand how India has got into this situation and what implications it has for the future.