Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Dec 2017 12:09:37

MUCH to the delight of the common man and much to the discomfiture of political opponents of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, the national economy has shown a reasonable resurgence with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rising to a robust 6.3% in the quarter ending September. And even as these happy figures have come to fore, Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has asserted that India’s growth rate has standardised for a rise between 7 and 8 per cent. These are happy figures and indicate that much of the criticism of the Government’s economic measures is only politically motivated with little substance. 

Much of the criticism was based on perfunctory consideration of measures like demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST). Even though the Government has insisted that the banks have got back nearly 99% of the demonetised currency and is in the safe custody of the banks, the political opponents have decided not to believe the official figures. Nor are they willing to pay attention to the fact that the Government has shown enough resilience and accommodation to make suitable changes in GST law to make it more acceptable and more actionable.

The latest statistical realities indicate, however, that the Government has taken all appropriate steps to push the reforms regime in the right direction. For the initial periods, the Government’s measures might have looked slightly chaotic, as their early management suffered from the absence of control on minor and minute detail. Yet as time wore on, the nation came to know that the moves were beneficial to the national economy in the long run. That was what Mr. Narendra Modi, Mr. Arun Jaitley, Mr. Nitin Gadkari and many other leaders have been insisting upon time and again. Fortunately, their assertions have proved right and the politically-driven criticism from some quarters have been proved wrong. This has vindicated the Government’s stance on critical issues concerning the national economy.

There still are grey areas of economic management. The benefits of certain alterations in the monetary policy implemented by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are yet to start delivering the desired results. The massive steps in the sector of inclusive finance -- like the Jandhan Yojana -- are still to start showing actual benefits. For, some frauds of massive proportions are beginning to come to fore. But the the overall size of the national economy is as massive as that of India’s, then issues of management of detail are expected to keep cropping up time and again.

Despite these realities, good signs, too, are visible on the horizon heralding good times for the national economy. Enhanced GDP is one such sign. Mr. Jaitley has insisted that in terms of GDP, the national economy is already worth USD 2.5 trillion, which should be considered truly healthy. Inflation has travelled back into single-digit from the long stretches of double-digit era in the Congress-led regime. The Government has also been able to keep the fiscal deficit down to a reasonable level, which also should be considered a good sign.

Of course, much distance is yet to be traversed to ensure that all healthy parameters are available on all fronts. Given the size of the country and the challenges that confront it perennially, changing the tone and tenor of the economy will always remain an unfinished agenda. In other words, it will have to be a continuous effort to keep sprucing up the economic profile of the country in a steady manner. The reforms which the Modi Government has tried to push so far indicate a healthy direction. Obviously, more time will have to be given to the measures to start witnessing absolutely positive results.