Neelkanth Mishra | Co-head of Asia Pacific Strategy and India Strategist for Credit Suisse
The Indian Express
Mishra argues that “a continued focus on reforms and on sustaining India’s growth potential will be critical in preventing macroeconomic instability.” Stating that most of the earlier measures announced by the RBI have not had the desired effect, he says the “series of measures announced to provide credit support to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) attempts to address this gap.” Mishra maintains that India must prepare for a big blow to the economy, and “government intervention may have to intensify in the coming months” to tackle this.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev | Founder, Isha Foundation
The Indian Express
Vasudev states that “Many who claim to be leftist feel only they should have freedom of speech, nobody else.” Clarifying that he is “more left than people can imagine”, but not “crazy left”, he calls out those who think their opinion is “much more sacred than the people’s will in a democratic society.” He expresses his discontent regarding protests and asks people to take things to court if they believe it to be “illegal”. And if that doesn’t work, he says, “you must strive hard to win the next election.”
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Meeta Sengupta | Adviser, writer and speaker on education policy and leadership practice
Noting that the coronavirus pandemic has forced schools to shift to online classes, Sengupta argues that “This could lead to much-needed reform.” She goes on to say that “social and emotional learning can be found in community and group-learning experiences. One does not need specific school structures.” She explains this by stating that one can forge friendships at the local park, or football club, and that schools must now ask themselves what their real value is.
Anna Mathew | Advocate practising at the Madras High Court
R. Vaigai | Advocate practising at the Madras High Court
With migrant workers rendered jobless and starving, walking on highways headed home and employers seeking relaxations in labour laws for personal gain, Mathew and Vaigai argue that “Labour laws are civilisational goals and cannot be trumped on the excuse of a pandemic.” Calling the new labour laws “reminiscent of the barbaric system” from the colonial era, they add, “Any move to undo these laws will push the workers a century backwards.” While the pandemic and subsequent lockdown have left the economy in shambles, it does not rid the government of its “constitutional duty to ensure just, humane conditions of work and maternity benefits.”
Akhilesh Tilotia | Head, Strategy and New Initiatives, Axis Bank
The Financial Express
Noting the difference in the lockdown experiences of the relatively privileged, who can work from home, and migrant workers, whose livelihood depends on their physical presence, the author emphasises the need to build “digital cocoons” that will have a massive impact on urbanisation, real estate, transportation needs and working contracts. He suggests five elements are needed to build a strong digital working atmosphere — universal access to a network, communication and connection, and the ability to add value, make and receive payments and access assets and liabilities digitally. He clarifies he does not mean detachment, but says “the ability to get into a digital cocoon can offer protection to individuals and society in times of sudden crises.”
Jahangir Aziz | Chief emerging markets economist, J.P. Morgan
The author examines the economic relief package announced by the Finance Minister and its potential effectiveness. He compares the package, which is 10 per cent of India’s GDP, to other countries’ economic packages and says that the its success depends on the depth of the collapse in growth and the pace of recovery. The bulk of support is in the form of liquidity already injected by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) into banks, and credit guarantees for bank lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the author states. He says that income support, and not spending, is the need of the hour and an ill-conceived policy response could worsen the economic crisis.
Ashok V. Desai | Former chief economist, Govt Of India
The Economic Times
The author targets PM Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and ‘Vocal for Local’ and says that the “manufacture of ideas has fallen far behind the invention of slogans”. He argues that import of equipment and industrial inputs actually helps Indian industry, and making them in India would make it even less competitive. The way to promote smaller firms is to create competition in the credit market by allowing many more private banks and, above all, by creating a vibrant equity market, he writes.
Subir Roy | Senior journalist
Hindu Business Line
The author explains why the Indian Banks Association’s idea of creating a ‘bad bank’ isn’t wise. A bad bank is an asset reconstruction company that will take over already heavily written-down bad debts of banks, pay in cash and secondary receipts. But, Roy argues, it is not a great idea because it takes care of the stock of bad debts and not the flow. If banks’ balance sheets are considerably cleaned up, they will have both the resources and the mental frame to start lending again, he notes.
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