The government once again ignores the sinking economy
The government once again ignores the sinking economy
No matter how much they try to cover up, find excuses or delegate blame, it is no secret that the Indian government has failed terribly in its handling of the virus that has now claimed more than 250,000 lives in the country.
Not only has it failed to tackle the problem at hand, but it has also disappointingly failed to address it as well, going strong with its strategy of ignorance until an emergency. Well, India is the only country that has been trying to bury its dead even after we’re done cremating them.
Ironic, isn’t it? Well, every bit is heartbreaking as well. And just in case you were wondering, no, the lesson is still not learnt, with the government now turning a blind eye on the stinking Indian economy.
But before we talk about the government’s ignorance, let’s talk about exactly how the Indian economy is a sinking ship.
Even though the government has not announced a nationwide lockdown, the local lockdowns announced by a large number of states have aggregated to something close to it only.
Oh, by the way, irrespective of the experts’ and economists’ suggestions, the government decided not to announce a nationwide lockdown, without providing any reason behind and for the decision.
Accountability? What’s that about? Nonetheless, the impact of local lockdowns is still destructive, especially for the working class.
As per the data published by the Centre for Monitoring India Economy, salaried employees lost 3.4 million jobs in the month of April itself, and over three months, February to April, job losses totalled a devastating 8.6 million.
Also, note that 70 per cent of these job losses come from the farm sector.
Take a moment to acknowledge the condescending irony here. At a time when the country added exponentially to its gap of income inequalities, the losses of the coming aggravated burdens are still on the shoulders of the poor and middle class.
Apparently, the notion of ‘Appreciate and encourage the wealth creators’ is helping nobody but them. This comes from the fact that a large number of middle and rural households job livelihoods last year and were unsurprisingly dependent on the savings or borrowings to get through, depleting their resources.
Evidently, they’re no longer in a position to do so. The situation is worsened further by the fact that unemployment has also increased to about 8 per cent, as per the report recently published for the month, pointing directly at the approaching serious livelihood crisis.
The labour force participation rate has also evidently fallen to 39.98 per cent in April, the lowest since May 2020, and honestly, it is no shocker, considering it has fallen for three consecutive months.
Not only have the forecasts for the economic growth in the current fiscal year gone down, but the situation at the point is also being considered highly fragile in terms of the economy, with deeper stresses in the economic and financial system only alleviating the cause.
The earlier presumptions of a V-shaped recovery that the government have been boasting about has also been taken back, keeping in view the devastating halt to the nascent economic recovery of the country.
This comes from the fact that economic indicators like consumption, unemployment, inflation and others paint a rather grim picture. And honestly, it is not too hard to pin the factors at play. Persistent obstacles to growth like weak infrastructure, rigidities in labour, land and product markets, rising financial sector risks and unattended income gap point directly to the negative outlook for India.
Undoubtedly, the immediate impact of the second wave is the fact that economic recovery that had just begun is going to take a setback, with private consumption again turning its face to a savings-driven outlook.
And if you think about it, what resorts do we have? No jobs to earn money from, no hospital beds to rely on in case things go bad, no savings to fall back on, exponentially increased costs of essentials because of black marketing- how can we even think of spending at the point? And how long do you think mal and medium businesses can keep investing with no returns?
Again, the long-term impact is a question that only the duration of the surge can answer, but what can be certain at this point is that if things are tackled immediately, they may get too late to repair.
What is the government doing, you ask? Well, brace yourselves while we tell you- nothing.
In a recent meeting conducted by the finance minister in Kolkata, she expressed how she wants to assure the present industrialists that while 2020 was about COVID, 2021 shall not be about it, in spite of the second wave.
The statement comes at the time when the country is recording more than 3.5 lakh cases every single day, with the data presented above statistically significant to point at the economy’s deteriorating condition.
It is rather easy to just ignore the problem at hand, isn’t it? And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. The government refused to admit any community transmission for the longest time, declared victory over the virus, retracted data exposing the collapse of health services, and now, well, this.
The finance minister expressed how the industry has now learnt to adapt to the virus and that the impact would not be as significant, basing her argument on the low correlation between less mobility and economic growth.
However, we’re all aware of how and where we are headed, aren’t we? As proved by our disappointing government time and again, avoiding a crisis is a certain way to worsen it.
Read something a while ago that said, “In today’s world, how long a government stays is no longer a testament of their abilities, it is a testament of our tolerance.” We are going to get through this crisis, let’s make sure we get through this catastrophic government’s crisis as well.