Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday urged the United Nations that post-pandemic policies include adequate recognition of the mental well-being of vulnerable sections.
Speaking at the UN high-level segment on employment and social protection for poverty eradication, Sitharaman also said that the UN’s proposed accelerated action on employment and protection social should have digitalization at the heart of the design.
She added that knowledge of behavioral economics can be leveraged to integrate workers who are currently not covered by the formal safety net. “A key principle underlying post-pandemic recovery with policies integrating health and social protection is the institutional recognition of the mental well-being of vulnerable sections through psychosocial support. Future policies must respond to adequately to this imperative, ”she said in her virtual speech.
She listed the measures taken by the Indian government to ameliorate the immediate distress and provide the necessary protection to the vulnerable part of the population and said that India’s free vaccination program is one of the largest in the world and that the country has covered 875 billion doses of the vaccine to date. .
“India has launched a comprehensive economic package under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat to combat the impact of the pandemic and revive economic growth. The $ 366 billion financial package, representing over 13% of India’s GDP, has been rolled out to create employment opportunities for the unorganized sector. , strengthening MSMEs and promoting the rural economy, ”she said.
To mitigate the impact of the crisis, more than 4 million migrant workers received assistance, while construction workers received in situ support to get through difficult times. Over 100 million rural and unorganized workers received wages amounting to over Rs 1 trillion. “The comprehensive social protection system envisaged for creation as part of the proposed global accelerator for employment and social protection should have the digitization of public financial management systems at the heart of its design.
In India, the DBT method enabled Jandhan, Aadhar biometric identification and mobile trinity helped during the pandemic to roll out social protection measures without any delay, ”Sitharaman added.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for accelerated action on employment and social protection to avoid an uneven global recovery and prevent future crises.