Tamil Nadu was the only State whose GSDP growth didn’t become negative in 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, showing the resilience of its economy, S. Krishnan, Additional Chief Secretary, Industries, Investment Promotion and Commerce Department, said in Chennai on Friday.
“The unemployment rate increased, but remained below the national average,” he said, addressing students at a seminar on ‘Implications of COVID-19 on Labour and Employment: Strategies, Prospects and Challenges’, organised by the P.G. and Research Department of Economics, Presidency College.
Mr. Krishnan said the State government made all necessary efforts to ensure that the labourers who wanted to go home travelled safely during the pandemic. Data provided by him in a presentation showed that 4.2 lakh migrant labourers were sent to their home States by train and bus.
Explaining how the Tamil Nadu government handled the pandemic, he said 11 committees, including a committee for ensuring the welfare of migrant labourers, were formed to coordinate the implementation of various welfare programmes. “Tamil Nadu was the first State in the country to issue government orders to ensure business continuity for industries with continuous processes, speciality medical devices and other essential industries,” he said.
As a result of all this, he said multinational firms had strengthened their relationship with Tamil Nadu, and were looking to invest further in the State. “Two weeks ago, during the team’s (delegation led by Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu and comprising officials from Guidance Tamil Nadu) official tour of Japan and Korea, most of the companies that the team met wanted to invest in Tamil Nadu. The response was positive, and they were thankful that we ensured business continuity during the pandemic,” Mr. Krishnan said.
Because of all these interventions by the State government, Tamil Nadu’s labour force has been at higher rates consistently after June 2021 unlike other states and unemployment rates decreased drastically as compared to other states, he added.