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Top economists, intellectuals propose an all-powerful communist regime to tackle corona crisis

An economic action plan endorsed by top intellectuals seems to suggest the government should treat private property as a public resource during the coronavirus crisis. Here's a rundown of the brewing controversy.
Migrant workers and their families standing in queues on Delhi's outskirts as they wait to board buses to eastern Bihar, on May 18, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

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n economic action plan endorsed by leading public intellectuals suggests India must do “whatever it takes” to raise resources during the coronavirus pandemic, even treating private property as a national resource.

But for many, that idea is outrageous.

Mission Jai Hind, a seven-point plan of action made public on Friday, says the government’s stimulus package “virtually ignores the urgent need for economic support to ordinary citizens whose lives and livelihoods have been shattered by the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown”.

It urges the government to provide travel services for migrant workers hoping to return to home, free healthcare for coronavirus patients, compensation for job and wage losses and universal access to expanded rations. Other recommendations for economic relief include three months of loan deferment and interest waiver for farmers, small business and for first-time house loans.