Bikky Khosla | 18 Dec, 2018
rising debates over agrarian and job crises, which have emerged as a major
concern in 2018, a group of 13 economists from academia came out last week with
a concise strategy paper, which not only sheds valuable light on these burning
issues but also on all other major concerns currently facing the Indian
economy. The suggestions, offered by these renowned economists -- each with
different specializations and interests – are definitely worth considering.
among the suggestions is on importance of maintaining macroeconomic stability,
which, according to the report, has at least three elements to it: maintaining
low and stable inflation, keeping fiscal deficit under control and ensuring
that the current account deficit can be financed largely through stable capital
inflows. Every time macro stability has been traded off to boost growth, the
economy has been pushed towards a crisis, the report reminds. So, blindly
driving after growth may prove fatal.
agriculture, the report calls for reform in agricultural and land policies,
instead of propping the sector up through repeated sops. On infrastructure, it
suggests several steps for accelerating the pace of the infrastructure
build-out. Similarly, there are a number of recommendations for empowering the
power sector and improving the underlying competitiveness of the export sector.
On the financial sector, it voices for cleaning up of bank balance sheets and
improvement in management at the PSU banks. All these suggestions sound solid.
last but not the lease, the report stresses the importance of making growth
inclusive and sustainable. It highlights the importance of enabling the
education system to deliver universal functional literacy, dealing with the
skill shortage, increasing participation of women in labour force, improving
the healthcare system, addressing environmental issues, and replacing the
present social protection mechanism with a more robust one. Of course, these
are long-term measures, but the earlier we start, the better it is for us.