The finance ministry has asked labour ministry to collect data on job losses due to the situation arising out of the COVID-19 crisis, news agency ANI reported on Friday, quoting sources. “The Finance Ministry is engaging with the Labour Ministry over job losses and salary cuts. It has asked the Labour Ministry to collect data on job losses during COVID-19,” sources quoted by ANI said. Many companies have announced layoffs in the past few weeks due to the coroanvirus-triggered lockdown. Some 12.2 crore workers were forced out of jobs in April, according to data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, a private sector think tank.
The report also suggests that the finance ministry is looking into the mismatch between public sector banks’ sanction and disbursal of loans. The sources said disbursal of sanctioned loans is not happening and the Ministry is looking into it to resolve this mismatch. “The focus is to bring down the cost on government borrowings,” they added.
Meanwhile, finance ministry sources on Friday told NDTV that the government has not ruled out direct cash transfers to the poor or migrant workers, and will look at giving more cash in hand as the situation evolves. The government has also not yet decided on monetising the fiscal deficit or printing money, the sources said, adding that it will do so when needed.