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HKM’s Dr. Ammar Jan Joins Global Call For Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan Based On Wealth Redistribution

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    Historian and left-wing activist Dr. Ammar Ali Jan has stated that this is a time to redistribute wealth, since it is not possible to create new wealth under the conditions of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

    In a Facebook live video, the Lahore-based leader of the progressive outfit Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement (HKM) offered his analysis of the global political economy at the current moment. Like many left-wing thinkers and activists around the world, Ammar Jan is of the view that wealth redistribution will be one of the most important strategies in economic recovery from the pandemic.

    Members of the Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement, including Ammar Jan, have been organizing a relief effort by the name of “Labour Relief Campaign”. This effort has joined the volunteers around Pakistan who are raising money via donations and providing parcels of food aid directly to the homes of working-class and poor residents of urban areas in Pakistan.

    In Ammar Jan’s view, the government’s failure to provide working-class Pakistanis with an economic safety net during the Coronavirus lockdown has now created a situation where food riots are a very realistic possibility in the near future. He argues that it will be impossible to keep hungry people inside homes.

    To pay for the economic and welfare stimuli which the government must give to the poor, Ammar Jan proposes a wealth tax and a cap on maximum wealth. He reminds the government that these are “extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures”.

    Left-wing analysts around the world have responded to the economic destruction caused by the Coronavirus by highlighting the fact that it hits the lowest income segments far more than wealthier segments. These activists and thinkers have been arguing for varying levels of wealth redistribution and financial relief to the poor.

    In a public letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, influential left-wing leader and leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sitaram Yechury has argued for a special government package to deal with the economic and healthcare challenges of Covid-19. Yechury wrote:
    “Many countries in the world have announced that the government will guarantee the payment of at least 80 per cent of the salaries being drawn by workers who are now unable to attend work. Government of India should do likewise.”

    Noting the effects on daily-wagers and the urban poor, Yechury and the CPI-M have called for cash transfers and food supplies to be provided to such affectees of the crisis.

    Radical Greek economist and former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis leads a Europe-wide movement to reform the European Union and its institutions along more progressive and pro-poor lines. He recently presented an agenda that calls for extensive measures by European governments to intervene in the economy in favour of low-income segments:

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