As per recent report by the wire, In 2020, when COVID-19 halted trade and ravaged businesses across the country, as many as 11,716 businesspersons died by suicide. The latest ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’ report said that of these over 11,000 deaths, suicides among “tradesmen” increased by 50% – from 2,906 in 2019 to 4,356 in 2020 – the highest across categories of business community. As many as 4,226 “vendors” died by suicide last year, with the rest being accounted for in the category of “other businesses”.
As per the NCRB data, shared by The Indian Express:
- 10,677 farmers and 11,716 businessmen died by suicide in 2020
- Among the tragic suicide of businessmen, 4,356 were that of “tradesmen” and 4,226 were of “vendors”
- Suicides among the business community shot up by 29 percent between 2019 and 2020
- Suicides among tradesmen shot up by 49.9 percent between 2019 and 2020
Karnataka recorded the maximum number (1,772) of deaths by suicides of businesspersons in 2020 – a 103% increase from 2019, when 875 businesspersons had taken their own lives in the state. As many as 1,610 businesspersons died by suicide in Maharashtra, a 25% jump from the previous year, and 1,447 died in Tamil Nadu, a 36% jump from 2019. (Maharashtra has the highest number of MSMEs in the country with 28.38 lakh MSMEs registered, followed by Tamil Nadu with 15.4 lakh MSMEs.)
“The major share of India’s businessperson community belongs to the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who are extremely vulnerable to shocks and COVID-19 has hurt them the most,” professor Praveen Jha of JNU’s Centre for Economic Studies and Planning told The Print. “These small businessmen are not assured of support during the crisis and the government of India helped them with too little, and too late — that too mostly monetary in nature (in the form of loans) and not fiscal support (stimulus cheques),” he further said.
An EY survey amongst 1,000 MSME entrepreneurs highlighted that more than 70% of the respondents were impacted during COVID-19 because of reduced orders, loss in business, availability of raw material, and liquidity issues, the Economic Times had reported. In India, MSMEs account for about 99% of all enterprises, comprising 63 million MSMEs across various industries. These small firms contribute 29% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and comprise almost half of its exports.