Editorial

Growth slowdown

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/2/2019 12:12:49 PM IST

 Reacting to the sharp deceleration in manufacturing output and subdued farm sector activity pulled down India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth to over six-year low of 5 per cent in the April-June quarter of 2019-20, former prime minister and noted economist Dr. Manmohan Singh has laid the blame on the policies of the Modi government. He pointed out that the recent rollbacks by the government after having made budget announcements had shaken the confidence of the international investors. The former prime minister does not generally rush to react but prefers to wait and watch before making his point. Dr.Singh’s arguments are valid since the present economic health of the country has suffered a slowdown. India has not been able to increase its exports to take advantage of the opportunities offered by global trade due to geopolitical realignments. Dr Singh has also questioned the “credibility of India’s data” which the government has been depending to paint a rosy picture all along. The former prime minister also cautioned the BJP-led government at the Centre against pursuing “vendetta politics” in the game of one upmanship and to reach out to all sections in order to steer the economy from its present “man-made crisis”. He also pointed out that the dip in growth in the manufacturing sector tottering at 0.6% was distressing and revealed that the economy was yet to recover due to the “man-made blunders of demonetisation and a hastily implemented GST”. These are not only genuine concerns but also project the reality as laid out by the economic data as revealed by plummeting job losses of more than 3.5 lakh in the otherwise vibrant automobile sector alone. There is no doubt that the policy decisions such as the ‘demonetisation surgical strike’ in November 2016 had shaken the foundations of the economy over several sectors especially the rural sector. The decision turned 86% of the currency invalid and brought small business enterprises to a standstill. Leaving aside the farmers, most small scale businesses here are managed by just one person. The switch to paperless economy cannot be achieved in a matter of days while more than 60% of the transactions of most developed countries are through cash. The GST was hastily implemented and today the country is repenting at leisure. The finance minister has understood the impact of the high rates but cannot bring changes. All these have led to shortfall in tax revenues. Dr. Singh also noted that domestic demand is depressed and consumption growth is at an 18-month low and nominal GDP growth is at a 15 year low. He also shared concern against “tax terrorism” on targeted businessmen which is not bereft of facts. The selective targeting does no service to the rule of law and only creates an environment of fear and which is bad for business entrepreneurship. The promise to make India one and strong also means taking all on board since the country has so many internationally renowned professionals and experts whose contribution is much needed. Perhaps it is time for the government to veer away from too much politicisation and appreciate the slogan of one for all and all for one.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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