oppn parties Where Is The Economy Headed?

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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Where Is The Economy Headed?

By Ashwini Agarwal

The economy is showing signs of revival and it is reflected in the industrial production figures that grew 4.9 percent in April after reaching a five-month low in March. This means that demand for goods and services is rising and that it out hope for creation of jobs, one thing that the present government has not managed to bring on track. But this good news is also tempered by extremely low or negative growth in sectors like agriculture, fishing and mining. While mining is suffering from the effects of large scale corruption in licensing and the resultant court cases, if agriculture – the sector that provides jobs to nearly half of the workforce – does not take off and if farm distress continues, jobs created in factories or the service sector will not be enough as a large number of people will be rendered unemployed from agriculture. The only ray of hope is that the Met has predicted a normal-to-good monsoon and it might help in reviving the sector and lessening farm distress.

On the other hand, hardening of oil and commodity prices have meant that the consumer price index (CPI) is rising faster than expected. As producers battle with rising input costs, they are unable to absorb it in the face of thin margins and product prices are increasing across the board. Couple this with rising prices of daily essentials and farm produce such as vegetables and fruits and the problem being faced by households is clear. In fact, most households surveyed by the RBI expect the CPI to rise faster in the coming months and reach its peak during the festival season in September-October.

The government has to work fast in introducing further reforms. It also has to step up investments in the renewable energy sector so that reliance on fossil fuels is decreased. If inflation rises beyond a comfortable level, the RBI will have to follow a tight money policy to suck out excess cash from the economy. Prices are not likely to fall soon because even if the monsoon is good and the farms produce more, the effects will show only during September-October. By that time, the festival season will push up demand to bring us back to square one.