INDIA – THE ECONOMIC REBOUND ON THE ANVIL
BY AYANJIT SEN
(Worked as a senior journalist for the BBC and CNN in different parts of the globe)
Like a burning leaf on which an old poem is disappearing, the world evokes an old poetic anguish. But the Covid 19 pandemic has also triggered a free-fall in the economic, social ill-being and inequality in several parts of the globe.
From an Indian standpoint, the effect of Covid is apparent. Loss of jobs, lower middle class pushed down the poverty lane and economic disparity is there, undoubtedly. But its on a recovery path, albeit slowly. Citing the Reserve Bank of India data, the Indian Finance Minister, Ms Nirmala Sitaraman, had earlier said the country’s GDP growth will be 10.5 percent in 2021-22.
The government has already announced several economic packages to counter the impact of the pandemic, which includes in-kind and cash transfer relief measures for households, more employment provision measures, credit guarantee, enhancing borrowing limit for states and other structural reforms.
The Indian government’s budget for the financial year 2021-22 includes some broad-based measures like health and well-being, physical and financial capital and infrastructure, progressive human capital, innovation and research and development and above all minimum government and maximum governance. And let us not forget that the gains from the Indian stock markets had outpaced emerging markets in the first half of this year.
The Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, has been keeping a strict vigil on the economic condition and steps are being taken by his government to help people come out of this economic quagmire.
Now, apart from facts and figures, what has been the daily outcome for the common man including the poor and middle class. No doubt, the prices of several commodities have risen, making it tough for them to sustain with loss of jobs or reduced salary. But this phase will pass quickly with the government already creating job opportunities aplenty.
Apart from this, there are organizations like ICAN (India Co-win Action Network), launched in March this year, which helps the underprivileged communities hit the hardest due to Covid-19. This citizen-driven organization, has already positively impacted over four hundred thousand people across 25 states in the country, say the organization’s leading strategists, Dr Simi Mishra and Mr Ravi Pokharna.
Economic rebound will take place and opportunities will rise. The Indian economy will bounce back at a speed which will even take the world by surprise.
For the world economy, the global supply chain, a transformed digital economy, change in nature of jobs and quick implementation of policy reforms will augment it. Let us not forget the boom post the Great Depression in the 1930s and Lehmaan Brothers collapse and of course the economic recession after World War II.
But people will watch out for a new tagline in the world digital media soon – A more self-reliant India on the anvil.