“India’s slow growth is a drag on the world” – said Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist, IMF. Well, there is a positive take on this statement. First of all, we need to take note that India’s growth is not stagnant or decreasing and only has slow a growth rate – it is growing. Although the GDP growth rate has dropped to 4.5% in Q2FY20 (July – September Quarter of the Financial Year 2019-20) due to many factors, such as poorly created and implemented rules and regulations by the RBI, criminalisation of income tax laws, fraudulent failures of businessmen, unanticipated flaws in demonetisation and compliance of Goods and Service Tax.
In trying times like these, where it is difficult to assess the growth of a country’s economy, I believe it is important to recognise a few major steps that were taken to boost the economy and protect it from global recession.
Electricity, FDI and Taxation
- Power generation is likely to be declared as “manufacturing” and reduce corporate tax to 15%.
- The government is funding USD 2.8 Billion in expenditure via off-budget borrowings in 2020-21. It will increase spending on rural welfare and expenditure.
- The world’s richest person Jeff Bezos, Amazon and the person responsible for delivering A to Z to Indian customers has announced a fresh investment of USD 1 billion.
- Sale of stocks of PSUs over 51% instead of selling units, and for public issues at a discount of 15% of the market price.
- In cases where Arbitration Tribunals have passed orders in favour of contractors/concessionaires, government agencies have been mandated to pay 75 percent of the total pay-out before challenging the decision in courts of law.
Uplifting the Automobile Sector
- Ban on government departments to purchase new vehicles to replace the old one has been lifted
- The government is also considering a scrappage policy for old vehicles which will boost the demand for new vehicles.
- BSIV vehicles purchased till 31 March 2020, will remain operational for the entire period of registration.
Criticism is a requirement for the proper functioning of any democracy, but when it is done with half the knowledge it can influence the world’s perception about a country, negatively. It’s alarming that 25 Central Ministers and 2.15 Crore government employees including both state and central government employees (excluding defence personnel) are responsible for the well being of the 1.37 billion citizens. Their one decision can be a life-changer for someone or a deal-breaker for another. So yes, the pressure and stakes are quite high.
Criticism only plays a meaningful role when it is constructive, and that can happen only if citizens unite to raise healthy questions against critics or supporters of the cause, to uncover the truth and bring it out to the world. Fulfilment of basic duties by citizens is required to not only boost the economy, but also to make their own lives easier with respect to governing bodies and laws.
Finding solutions, not problems
Paying taxes and casting a vote are a few ways through which a citizen can bring a change in Economy. It is astonishing that only a mere 3% of the Indian population pays income tax. This amounts to under 30 Million people of a population of 1.3 Billion. Tax revenues fell short by 1.65 Trillion USD last year, the deficit is likely to be larger this year at 2.6-3 Trillion USD.
India has stepped into an era of solutions, we have a lot of problems throughout the country but at the same time each problem is being acknowledged by a solution or at least the willingness to find a solution. We have an able body of democratically elected ministers today, who vow to remove every peril with honesty and effective policies. And to be fair, it cannot be the responsibility of 25 Central Ministers and 2.4 Crore government employees alone – the contribution of every citizen matters. it can help increase India’s growth rate and GDP.