By Linus Garg
First publised on 2020-11-02 16:54:07
At last, some excellent news on the economic front. GST collections for October stood at Rs 1.05.055 crore, which was 10 percent higher than in October 2019. Before people rush in to say that this was due to the festival season, it should be kept in mind that in 2019, Durga Puja, Navratri, Dussehrah and Diwali were all celebrated in October. This year, Diwali is on 14th November. Hence, the combined festival sales will reflect in two months and the November GST collections will include Diwali festival purchases. Thus, the October collections this year show a huge jump and are a definite sign on economic recovery.
There are other signs of the economy quickly moving towards the pre-Covid levels and at times topping them. Hyundai and Hero Motocorp recorded their best ever monthly sales in October this year. While Hyundai sold 56,605 units in the month, Hero sold over 8 lakh units. Other auto companies like Maruti (18%), Tata Motors (79%) and Kia (64%) also registered above-average growth. The other giveaway indicators like fuel and electricity consumption also showed healthy growth. Diesel sales jumped 6% year-on-year in October, petrol jumped by 4% and electricity consumption jumped by more than 13%. These are sure signs of economic recovery.
Phased unlocking and lifting of most restrictions coupled with the surge in buying due to the festivals, has meant that economic activity has returned to pre-Covid levels in most sectors and has even crossed those levels in many. This is a good sign. But to sustain this demand, the Centre now needs to intervene by releasing funds to the states to undertake development activities and should make investments in infrastructure projects to generate jobs and start a chain effect that will benefit the manufacturing and services sectors. Once businesses start getting orders, the sentiment will improve magically and the economy will get out of the slowdown and lockdown rut.