oppn parties Urgent Need To Water The Green Shoots

News Snippets

  • After both candidates got 34 votes in HP. Congress' Abhishek Singhvi lost in the draw of lots as the BJP candidate was declared winner
  • ED issues 8th summons to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in the excise policy scam case
  • Prime Minister Modi introduced the three IAF group captains - Prashanth Nai, Ajit Kirshnan and Angad Pratap - and Wing Commander Shubhangshu Shukla, who have been shortlisted for the first manned space mission of ISRO
  • Centre appointed former SC judge A M Khanwilkar as the new Lokpal. It also named three judicial and three non-judicial members of the Lokpal panel
  • A 9-judge Supreme Court bench started hearings on whether states are entitled to tax mineral-rich land in their respective states
  • Taking note of the huge disparity in charges in government and private hospitals for most treatment procedures, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to strictly enforce the CGHS rates or warned that the court would have to step in
  • Calcutta HC ruled that regardless of a woman employee being regualr or on contract and whether her contract permitted maternity leave, employers cannot deny childbirth and maternity leave to any women employee as it 'seeks to create a class within a class which is not permissible'
  • Sebi asks MF companies to disclose more risks associated with their small and mid cap funds
  • Vodafone Idea board approves Rs 45000cr funding infusion
  • NCLT clears Hinduja acquisition of Reliance Capital at Rs 9650cr upfront payment within 90 days of approval of resolution plan
  • Stocks returned to winning ways on Tuesday: Sensex gained 305 points to 73095 and Nifty 76 points to 22198
  • Commonwealth Chess championships: Mitrabha Guha wins title by scoring 7.5 points in 9 rounds
  • WPL: RCB beat Gujarat Giants by 8 wickets
  • Bengal starts paying MNREGA workers out of own funds as Central disbursement is stopped due to alleged 'discrepancies' in accounts
  • ISC chemistry paper postponed to March 21 just hours before start of exam due to "unforeseen circumstances"
Cross-voting in Rajya Sabha elections enables BJP to snatch seats in UP & Himachal /////// Congress government in Himachal in trouble as some MLAs revolt
oppn parties
Urgent Need To Water The Green Shoots

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2020-10-02 13:40:08

Should we be heartened by the silver linings in September - GST collections in rose for the first time in 6 months; manufacturing PMI was up by 58.8%, its fastest pace in more than eight years; petrol sales crossed pre-Covid levels; railway freight booking were up by 15.3%; car sales were slated to pick up due to the festive season as evidenced by increased stocks at dealerships across India; and the 157 times oversubscription for the Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders which made it the most successful PSU divestment in terms of oversubscription - or should we be disheartened by the Centre's decision not to borrow more funds for investment despite a healthy current account surplus and a compelling need to invest in infrastructure to water the green shoots that are showing up in the economy?

Frankly, the Centre's decision to cap the borrowings to Rs 12 lakh crore for the entire year does not make sense in these troubled times. The government needs money to invest in infrastructure. It is not going to come from regular sources as tax collections are down and divestment has not taken off as expected. Extraordinary measures are needed in times which are not ordinary. Never before have factories in India suspended production for two months at a stretch. The stress caused by that has had repercussions in the form of job losses, salary cuts and closure of many businesses. To rectify this, it is absolutely necessary for the government to find the money to invest heavily in infrastructure. The benefits will flow in through creation of jobs, new factories, rise in tax collection and creating a positive atmosphere in which more funds will flow in through better realization for shares of PSUs that are up for divestment.

By putting its entire faith in the inherent ability of the Indian economy to bounce back due to its size and the size of the market, the government is making a big mistake. For, these are not normal times. People have curtailed consumption (the economy was tottering even before the pandemic and demand was low) due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic. The first requirement is to remove this uncertainty. That can only be done if the government starts investing now. Its investments will raise the confidence levels and fill up the order books of core sectors industries like steel and cement. Cascading effect will take care of the rest. Any delay will perhaps see a slump post the festive season. That would be a disaster for the economy that is trying to limp back to normalcy. 

pic courtesy: westernasset.com