An Economic Revival Plan For The States

The Hindu Business Line|January 17, 2020

An Economic Revival Plan For The States
Promoting sectors with strong inter-linkages — like sugar, alcoholic beverages and tourism — will create revenues and jobs
Vijay Sardana

India is rich in resources which can create huge wealth and employment for the country with least investment. But these have not been explored effectively by either the Centre or the States.

At the same time, there are the numbers that keep flitting around to show the ongoing down-slide in India’s growth — GDP growth is at a 15-year low, unemployment rate is at a 45-year high, household consumption at a four-decade low, retail inflation at a new high, and banks are straddled with bad loans.

Some economists and pundits are on overdrive, burning their precious midnight oil in dissecting what’s wrong with the current socio-economic framework, rather than identifying areas which can bring change for betterment of the country. All these issues can be addressed if due attention is given to what resources the country has and how they can be managed better.

Quick fixes needed

The fact is long-term solutions are best administered when the economy is out of the ICU and gained enough strength to continue its journey on the growth path. For now, what the country needs are some quick fixes to ensure meaningful outcomes which are visible so that the scars don’t turn into chronic wounds.

Slight policy tweaks and relaxations across industry sectors may work best in the current scenario, especially when any further tax sops or interest rate cuts seem improbable.

To understand how such reforms can be achieved in a short time, there is no harm in borrowing sensible and practical ideas. The recently launched report on ‘ease of doing business’ in States and Union Territories offers some interesting ideas.

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January 17, 2020