Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Jul 2018 10:33:31

ONCE again, an international agency -- this time the Asian Development Bank (ADB) -- has endorsed the growing strength of Indian economy. It has said clearly that India would remain the fastest-growing economy ahead of China, with 7.3% growth rate in 2018-19 and 7.6% in 2019-20, thus leaving no ground to the Opposition to charge that the Government is putting forward artificially spruced up rates. Obviously, the Indian economy is growing at a happy and healthy rate that has put it ahead of the Chinese economy. For the average Indian, this is a welcome news.

No matter the clatter the Opposition parties are trying to create as regards what they allege as sluggish economy, the facts suggest an altogether different -- and positive -- trend. Several growth indicators have demonstrated how the economy is making a systematic progress, no matter the cooked up negative statistics by the Opposition. And this fact is being recognised by most global agencies. Sometime ago, it was the World Bank that had praised the Indian economy, and now the Asian Development Bank that has complimented Indian economy for its healthy growth, in addition to various private rating agencies whose reading of the scenario in India is in the most positive terms.

Of course, there are worrying factors present in the Indian economy. But as the Asian Development Bank looked at public spending in India, it inferred that the growth rate of Indian economy is healthy, and can put the country ahead of China. Among the factors that should make us feel concerned is the prices of essential commodities despite the fact that inflation is fairly under control. This dichotomy is still confusing the economic planners and managers. But when a national economy grows fast, as is doing the Indian economy, several parameters act in a wayward manner. Yet, their conduct does not indicate any failure of the Government. It only indicates that in an upward growth trajectory, every parameter cannot be under control since multiple forces operate on the scene.

Another factor that is causing concern is the confusing agriculture scenario where overall national farm output is more, but the economic condition of farmers and rural masses is not happy. The Government is certainly addressing this concern and is engaged in the process of hiking prices of farm produce etc. However, all that pumping of money will take considerable length of time to start showing a positive effect. In such a situation, patience is the only tool the nation must have.

Of course, for the political types, such a patience is not welcome. Yet, when the economy is growing, when things are settling down, some wayward trends may show up. Yet, when the overall scenario shows healthy signs, there is nothing to be worried about. The ADB has considered all these factors while interpreting the performance of the Indian economy, and then has offered its praise of the success.

Even as the world appreciates the Indian situation, the Government is not quiet on the anti-corruption front. For, it has passed some laws curbing corruption and introducing higher and stricter punishment to economic offenders. So strict has the Government become on this count that many people who have stashed away bad money in foreign havens are unwilling to come out in the open, no matter the incentives the Government may offer them if they do.

Yet, it must be admitted that the economy will grow still faster if the nation is able to curb corruption in a big way. It is this monster that is nibbling at the vitals of the economy all these years. So, the effort to spruce up the economy can succeed only when the Government and the people are able to curb corrupt practices as immediately as possible. Money flow is not going to be India’s problem from now on. But the troublesome factor is the firm national commitment to a corruption-free life. If this commitment is made and implemented, things will be still better. Afterall, a morally sound economy is always welcome.