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Sunday, April 11, 2021

World Bank’s alert for Indian economy: 7 points on how to overcome recession

Covid-19. This is not just a name of an ailment. This is the reason of worldwide slowdown of the economy. According to experts, the pandemic will cause a massive recession that the world didn’t witness since the World WarII! So what can we do to revive the Indian economy?

The World Bank in its latest report, Global Economic Prospects, said Indian economy is likely to contract by 3.2% in the 2020-21 FY. Stringent and months of lockdown has left the economy devastated, it said.

Here’s what the World Bank said

“Spillovers from contracting global growth and balance sheet stress in the financial sector also will adversely impact activity, despite some support from fiscal stimulus and continued monetary policy easing.”

As we all know the Indian economy wasn’t doing fine even in the pre-Covid-19 era. However, the situation turned worse since the pathogen outbreak. The growth rate was 7% in 2017. Then it kept on decreasing to 6.1% in 2018 and 4.2% in 2020.

No doubt, all these facts and figures make us only depressed and anxious. Many of us have either faced lay offs, brutal pay cuts or have been thrown into an uncertain future. However, there are still some ways we can get over this crisis. Wondering how?

Here’s the 7-point plan on how to overcome the recession.

1. Data access – The lockdown showed us how those who had smartphones and access to data gained monetarily and otherwise. It helped us get healthcare, e-learning, digital payments, goods and services. Digital technology and data access can bring a huge difference in our lives. Therefore, the government should ensure largescale production of smartphones in India and availability of data packages. This will also help the rural population become self-sufficient and access latest knowledge.

2. Investment in digital education – This measure comes with the first one. Digital learning can engage a wide range of students, teachers and other stakeholders. The Centre should think about investing a generously in digital education to create robust online platforms that offer greater reach and flexibility. It will also ensure to reduce education inequality in India.

3. Upgrade healthcare system – Covid-19 has pushed us to reflect on our healthcare system. Several countries are planning to revamp their healthcare facilities now. India should also follow the suit and think of innovative ways for various sectors. For example, police setting, data and analytics, new care delivery models and other such important factors of the health sector.

4. Modern ways of working – Another way to curb the recession is promoting modern and smart way of working. For example, if we can remove all paper-based works from our government offices and shift the entire load to a digital base, it would be ensure speed, transparency and progress. Digital platforms can help a lot where value chains have been affected by recession.

5. Re-skilling of workforce – Due to the pandemic long-lasting changes in the job market are coming to the fore. Over 1.5 billion jobs will be affected by this in the next decade. A huge section of workers have lost their jobs already. But to ensure productivity in core sectors, the government, along with industries, should create maximum jobs and bring back the workforce to business. Health, logistics, schools, retail sectors can play a huge role in this.

6. Boost to agriculture – India’s agriculture contributes to 17% of the GDP. Here, the government should launch new methods to increase this percentage. Maybe cropping pattern can be reduced, water and power tariff imposed. If the production increases, the sector will need more manpower. The rural population will get employment.

India’s agriculture sector calls for proper measures. Photo: Shutterstock

7. Develop green economy – Taking lessons from the pandemic, we should think of starting renewable energy options. Infrastructure like rail, road, affordable housing and safe water need development. Experts have even suggested developing these by printing money!

These are no doubt hard times but as they say every problem has its solution. So let’s think positive and play our part in creating a better economy.


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