Tracking Welfare Policy in Times of COVID-19: Edition 3

19 April 2020

Keep up-to-date with all that is happening in welfare policy with this curated selection of news, published every fortnight. The current edition focusses on the Coronavirus pandemic in India, and the government’s efforts to stem its increase.  

Policy News 

  • Even as the country-wide lockdown was extended to 3 May 2020, some notable exceptions have been made on activities relating to MGNREGS and agriculture among others. The government’s updated containment plan can be found here
  • As per a media report, a separate COVID-19 budget is being mulled by the government. Also, the Union government has directed ministries to complete all pending tasks due to the lockdown within 100 days of resuming work from 20th April, and government departments have been instructed to slash spending by 60% in the first quarter.
  • Rs 73,000 crore has been released by the Union government to states and Union Territories under MGNREGS. Part of this amount is pending dues. Similarly, Rs 800 crore has been released for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin).


  • The Asian Development Bank is likely to pump in USD 2.2 billion with a focus on the country’s health sector. 
  • As many as 104 million people will be pushed below the poverty line (World Bank’s threshold of USD 3.2 for lower-middle income countries) in the worst case scenario of the pandemic, as per a new analysis by the United Nations University. In a separate report, the International Labour Organisation has estimated that 400 million workers can slip below the poverty line. 

The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.