No data on Covid-related suicides among vendors, traders, businessmen: Centre
The Central government on Monday said it does not have any data on suicides among vendors, tradesmen and businessmen due to the economic toll of Covid-related lockdowns.
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) said this in the Rajya Sabha in response to a question posed by Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP Abdul Wahab. Wahab sought to know whether the government noticed that the crisis in the MSME sector as a consequence of the pandemic resulted in suicides of vendors, tradesmen, and other businessmen.
“This ministry does not maintain data of suicides. The ministry has also not received any such information of suicide of vendors, tradesmen & businessmen as a consequence of the pandemic,” read the ministry’s response.
In his question, Wahab had cited numbers from the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report. The latest NCRB 2020 report, released in September 2021, said as many as 11,716 businessmen died by suicide in 2020.
The report said of these over 11,000 deaths, 4,356 were that of “tradesmen” and 4,226 were of “vendors”, with the rest being accounted for in the category of “other businesses”. These are the three groups that the NCRB categorises the business community into while recording suicides.
Compared to 2019, deaths by suicide among the business community in 2020 increased 29%. Suicides among tradespeople, meanwhile, increased from 2,906 in 2019 to 4,356 in 2020 — a 49.9% jump, as per the official data.
When asked about what was the government doing to support the families of the vendors, tradesmen and other businessmen who died by suicide in 2020, the ministry listed various schemes and programmes for the growth and development of the MSME sector in the country.
“Post Covid-19, the government has taken a number of initiatives under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to support the MSME Sector in the country, especially in Covid-19 pandemic,” read the response.
The ministry further claimed that the online portal Champion, launched by the government to cover many aspects of e-governances including grievance redressal and handholdings of MSME, redressed over 40,000 grievances as of November 29.