All are worried to strengthen the economy on the one hand and the other helping the people by reducing pressures on them. But again the rhetoric is on the same beaten pattern — Free vaccination for all, unemployment allowance, job programmes and freebies for the poor, GST and tax cut on consumer products etc.
They, again and again, fail to understand that Indian people have remarkable power to sustain and stand even in the most adverse situation. Whatever the drawing-room economists claim, the Indian economy will again come back to life and brace itself for positive results. These self-claimed economists and columnists have just been exaggerating the problems and spreading panic and negativity.
In March 2021 the positive news of the recovery of the economy of 1.6% GDP growth has been shown but the second wave of China Covid-19 halted it. Different surveys have been showing the depressing situation. One such is by CMIE, showing the rate of unemployment in May rose sharply by 3% points to 11.9%. Consumer future index, according to RBI, since March, the expectations index has by 11%. JP Morgan is showing the composite index dropping by 15% in April and May in comparison to March.
All these institutions are doing their job and business. But what are the citizens getting by these studies? They are just claiming people are afraid about their future, people are losing their livelihood, people are dying due to the failure of the system, the economy is going down etc. Even some are speculating about the actual numbers of infections and deaths in the second wave are much higher than the official figures.
One question comes to mind. What will the nation get by the claims and the surveys of the economists? Only fear and depression? Have they done anything to reduce the costs of treatment and increase the healthcare facilities? The answer is a big NO! Instead of depending on the government for dealing with the lost or reduced income people should be suggested for going for the self-work like agriculture, horticulture, dairy farming, poultry business, vegetable and fruit business and skilled work. It has become a big agenda of opposition leaders and economists to instigate the people to demand reservations, quotas, freebies and economic packages from the governments. This is very bad economics and immoral politics and making citizens crippled.
Only those families that have lost their main earner should be given reservation and quotas in education, employments with other economic benefits. Their safety, survival and employment should be the main concern of the governments. Even Delhi has no beds in hospitals, no ICUs, no ventilators, no oxygen, no ambulance, no medicine and no injections. All the shocked to witness when dead bodies were not getting honourable cremations. Delhi has a tremendous shortage of even crematoriums.
Governments should act fast and cautiously for building good hospitals and healthcare facilities in the rural areas and small towns and give employment to the local people to stop the mindless migration to big cities. This pandemic has proved that the system of big cities has completely collapsed due to vote-bank politics. Political parties should stop this huge waste of taxpayer’s money on vote banks on freebies, freeloaders, free-electricity, free-water, free-bus passes, loan waving, caste and communal budgeting. This is a criminal waste of money and resources.
If this is stopped, this money can be invested in generating employment and improving healthcare services. Similarly, tax-net can be widened by bringing more institutions under tax-net. There should be an expansion of the tax net. There is no constraint for tax space. The government should impose a tax on NGOs, temples, mosques, churches, dargahs, gurudwaras, religious missions, charitable institutions etc. This is very necessary for a fiscal boost for the market and economy. The government should reduce its spending, like wasting money on routine transfers of the employees and subsidies which has no positive outcome.
The usual strategy response to such a difficult situation is the same–given freebies, economic packages, loan waving in the shape of government support to people and incentives to boost the economy and industry. However, nothing is still there to improve healthcare services. The economists and reformists have nothing new to suggest.
The government should shun wasteful expenditure, privatization, disinvestment, outsourcing, PPP model, sale of PSUs, and reducing the number of government employees. The governments should stop low profits public loan. This will control the fiscal deficit. Ministries like Minority Affairs Ministry, Minority Commission, Caste Commissions etc should be disbanded. Government financing to minority institutions should be stopped to control the expenditure.
Due to high public debt, the fiscal deficit is rising. High inflation is also a big hindrance to fiscal expansion. Barring some recent increases in prices, surprisingly, the consumer price index has remained almost under control. This is the surprising sustainability of the Indian market and economy. This is a big hope for fiscal expansion. It is the best hope for the Indian economy and the people. The governments should stop the fiscal softness. This may lead to an economic slowdown, price rise and unemployment.
The governments should revise the budget in light of the China Covid-19 pandemic conditions and plan on a major fiscal discipline of the economy. Barring defence, health, research, roads and transports additional expenditure should be curbed. The governments should arrange public-funded health services for all at affordable costs. This will build people’s confidence.
Next, urgent needs are rural unemployment which is forcing the mindless migration to cities, resulting in the urban infrastructure collapse. Rural people are highly vulnerable since they have neither wealth nor access to state-funded schemes. Instead of wasting resources on MGNREGA, infrastructure like hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, roads, banks should be opened and build in the rural areas and give reservation in jobs to the rural people and local people. This will stop migration, cities will be less burdened and create employment for local and rural people.
The Indian defence sector has a huge capability to support the people. The government should fill up all the vacancies in the defence sector. This will provide incentive and livelihood to people. The changes in lending and interest rates have almost no effect on the economy. Such measures by RBI does not have any positive effect. So the governments should move very cautiously in restructuring the economy.