Economic Slowdown: Time to Rethink
No government in the world will ever admit such a situation publicly but the fact remains that India’s economy is in doldrums. The growth rate has touched nadir. The word ‘demand’ is missing from the market. All three sectors of the economy are performing poorly the past couple of years. The growth in the primary sector is merely above two per cent. The growth rate in the secondary sector is almost similar. The service sector or the third sector alone is keeping the economy floating. The situation is so serious that even organisations like the World Bank and the IMF have expressed displeasure at the sudden fall in India’s growth rate. Former Prime Minister and noted economist Dr. Manmohan Singh is also worried, and suggested a few remedies to put the economy back on track. On its part, the government is not sitting idle. It has announced a huge stimulus for the housing sector. More such stimulus is in the pipeline. The crisis is serious enough to warrant worry. However, it is not a time for blame games. In this hour of crisis, no one should ever think of playing political football with the current economic scenario, as we all are guilty of pushing the country’s economy to the corner.
Before proceeding, every Indian should ask their selves this question: Were they not aware that such a crisis was taking shape in the horizon? Many may have misunderstood, but it is a fact that the crisis is entirely man made. Well in advance, signals of such a crisis were there. But in our wisdom, we decided to overlook the dangerous signs. Even after being fully aware about the state of our economy, we shamelessly spend nearly INR 60, 000 crore just to hold the general elections, while we spend less than INR 100 crore for our moon mission.
For years, we have been distributing doles sometimes in the name of loan waiver or in providing direct subsidy to the people while we did nothing to capture those who looted crores of rupees from our banks. Clearly, the ongoing economic crisis is a result of spending more on non-productive sectors rather than on productive sectors. For example, everyone talks about the crisis which is virtually threatening to destroy our agricultural sector. But have we ever tried to revitalize this particular sector to boost our economy? We spend by the crore to waive agriculture loans in the name of ensuring the wellbeing of farmers. But from that huge fund, we have not spent a single penny to irrigate our farmlands. As a result, the main strength of our economy has now almost become a burden. More than half of India’s working force is employed in this sector but its productivity rate is just shrinking.
We have refused to accept agriculture as our main strength. So apart from the first five-year plan and for a short period during the Green Revolution, we never tried to focus on agriculture. Apart from the lack of irrigational facilities, another problem our agriculture sector faces is small land hoardings. Though we will celebrate the 75th year of our Independence within a couple of years, so far we have not got the time for land reforms. When a nation ignores and neglects its main strength in such a manner, crisis is bound to come. Similarly, we have neglected our industries also. We never tried to modernize the industries to keep pace with the changing times. The result is now for everyone to see. The result clearly states that the crisis is manmade and India’s economy can only revive if it deserts populist measures completely.