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Last updated: 24 Nov, 2020  

Rupee.9.Thmb.jpg Reforms key to growth revival

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Bikky Khosla | 24 Nov, 2020

Continuing its economic reform agenda, the government will take up more measures in days ahead, the Finance Minister said on Monday at a conference in New Delhi. In her speech, the minister added that Prime Minister Modi has not lost the opportunity for deep reforms, even during the Coronavirus crisis. In a similar tone, a top government official last week had viewed that the Centre wants to convert this crisis into an opportunity. All this sounds encouraging.

A global rating agency, meanwhile, is of the opinion that the Centre's reform agenda in response to the Coronavirus pandemic shock has the potential to raise India's medium-term growth rate. No doubt, however, measures to support investment and boost productivity seem imperative at this moment for reviving the economy. In a bid to counter the effects of COVID-19, the Centre has continued its support in the form of economic stimulus, but now it seems is the time to accelerate reforms.

In terms of labour and education, measures like consolidation of 29 labour legislations into four codes and the New Education Policy – are encouraging, but continued push in this direction is a must. Similarly in farm sector, the recent decision of deregulating farm-to-market supply chains is a bold step, but experts now call for a new green revolution to transform the sector. Again, higher fiscal spending for capital infrastructure can bring forth a long-term solution to both employment and output generation.

As far as economic outlook is concerned, a recent survey reflects optimism, however. About 77 percent of nearly 1,700 respondents of the nationwide survey are optimistic of an economic recovery. While 22 percent of the respondents said they expect a revival in the next three to six months, 28 percent felt it could take anywhere between six months to a year. These findings are encouraging, and to convert the COVID crisis into an opportunity, we must now push ahead with tough reforms.

I invite your opinions.

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