From around two months the country is on full lockdown as a result, the economic wheel of the country is slowed down and restart that government is giving relaxation with every next phase of lockdown, except in certain areas. It’s the economically weaker section and low-income group people who are badly affected. Although everyone is affected in some of the other ways these two categories of socio-economic strata are more vulnerable. As they do not have anything like savings or a sort of good accommodation on the basis of which they can survive at someplace for a certain time period without having any source of income.
So they start moving to their home place when they are left with no option for their survival in the mid of lockdown. The majority of a migrant worker is from the rural area they are mostly daily wage laborers, seasonal workers, home workers, street vendors, etc. They mostly belong to states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh. It’s only a matter of time that we will begin to face some serious economic consequences if migrant workers do not return to big cities because the amount of remittance send by them plays a huge role in the economy of rural areas.
The economy of these rural areas is driven by the urban one. This remittance is a major source of cash inflow to the states from where they belong. Similarly, the opposite case is also true, the urban area also gets benefitted from the workers who work there. A migrant worker is important for both the source region and the home region but the sad truth is that they are the one who is getting most effected during this crisis. Due to a lack of long-distance transport and ban on the inter-state movement, they started walking back to their home town and villages which shows their simplicity, ignorance, and helplessness. After taking this staunch step and putting their life on stake again they are the ones who will have to face hardships and uncertainty. Now, they will try to find employment opportunities closer to their home in their home state. This will lead to economic and infrastructural pressure in those states.
The government of these states do not have very good financial condition and this will increase their burden. They cannot do much, they are very much dependent on the financially rich cities and states as they are the driving force of their economy. The positive part of this huge migration is that due to the abundance of labor-power it’s a very good opportunity for the States to kick-start their economy by promoting micro, small and medium enterprises. This can also create employment opportunities for these workers in their states only. For this, they need support from the central government.
The economic package of ₹20 lakh crore for MSME, by the central government, is a very good step, in response to this migrant crisis. Situations in big cities Due to worker migration, back to their states there will be a tremendous labor shortage in cities. As a result of this, production will slow down or may stop. So to restart their factories owners have to hire workers from the local area which will be a bit expensive for them, as due to lack of employment the workers from villages work at a very low cost. But now, because of the shortage of cheap laborers, they have to hire workers from the local area at a high price which will certainly lead to inflation in prices.
The biggest irony is that we may study the whole scenario in an economic sense and came to this conclusion but these migrant workers don’t even realize how important they are to the economy. They are simply busy and caught up with their problems that how to earn a livelihood. That is why when nothing was available for them during lockdown they simply starting walking back to their home from one state to another.