Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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GDP growth at 5.8% sends loud and clear message to Modi govt — act now

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With GDP growth slowing to 5.8% in Q4 2018-19, the Modi government can no longer be in denial mode about the fragile state of the economy. The July budget will have to take urgent steps to revive investment and consumption to compliment the rate cuts by the monetary policy committee.

Nirmala Sitharaman in finance must perform better than she did in defence & commerce

Nirmala Sitharaman as the first woman finance minister is a bold choice by Prime Minister Narendra Modi considering her inexperience in dealing with political economy. She will have to perform much better than she did as commerce and defence minister, considering the urgency to tackle sagging growth and global challenges.

Amit Shah in the home ministry is an unambiguous political message to India

Amit Shah’s portfolio is an unambiguous political message because the BJP’s strongest ideological representative will now be the home minister of India. He will oversee contentious issues ranging from NRC, and Kashmir to cow vigilantism. After a very long time, a truly powerful minister will now stir up the ministry.

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  1. FM carries an enormous burden of responsibility and expectations. She will need continuing support from Prime Minister, for whom an economic turnaround is easily the most pressing concern. Also from all her Cabinet colleagues whose ministries contribute to or impact the economy. If the government were to display statesmanship, keeping relations with the entire opposition in Delhi and the states cordial, that would create national support and synergy. On the one hand, there is no good reason why we are in this situation. On the other, the revival is not something that is just waiting to happen, like a rosebud opening at the appointed time. Bahut mushqil waqt hai, the most difficult I recall in my lifetime.

  2. How changes in Home and External Affairs will impact the role and responsibilities of the NSA merits an edition of Cut the Clutter.

  3. To be perfectly honest, the Dal Raisina of the Indian economy has been simmering on low heat for five years now. There is no comprehensible reason why the economy has been permitted to reach stall speed. 5.8% as per the revised methodology, which adds 200 basis points, means we may be growing at sub 4% now. People will support the government if it is seen to be implementing bold reformist measures that become unavoidable during a financial emergency. Conversely, they will not wait five years to express their sentiments if things do not begin to improve.

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