Slowdown dents govt’s image as prudent economic manager

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) High inflation, along with concerns over the general economic slowdown as well as low job creation, seems to have dented the Central government’s image as a prudent economic manager, a survey report showed.

These factors led nearly 47 per cent of people surveyed on the economic performance of the Central government to give a dismissive view, according to a IANS-CVoter pre-Budget survey which was carried out recently.

When asked about the performance of the Central government on the economic front, 46.4 per cent of the respondents said that it was ‘worse than expected’.

The 10-year survey showed that in 2019, 39.6 per cent of all those surveyed had chosen this option. In 2015, when the government presented its first full-Budget, this number stood at 29.5 per cent.

Lately, the Indian economy has suffered from low consumer demand on account of high Goods and Services Tax (GST), farm distress, stagnant wages and liquidity constraints.

This trend, referred to as slowdown, has pulled down the country’s GDP growth rate, besides causing job losses.

Sectors such as automobile, consumer durables and capital goods have already come under heavy pressure due to the slowdown.

As per the first advance estimates of national income, the growth in real GDP during 2019-20 is estimated at 5 per cent as compared to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19.

The figures show massive drop in growth rate following deceleration in the key sectors of industry and now presage an 11-year drop in GDP growth. In Q2, the growth had dropped to 4.5 per cent.

In terms of inflation, unfavourable base effect, along with higher prices of food items and those of primary articles, had accelerated India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices to a seven-month high of 2.59 per cent in December from 0.58 per cent in November.

Another key macro economic inflation data — Consumer Price Index — showed an accelerating trend for December. It touched a 65-month high of 7.35 per cent from 5.54 per cent in November.

Consequently, economists have said that India is facing Stagflation — an economic trend marked by rising inflation and falling GDP growth.

In fact, on all the major economic fronts of tax collection, fiscal deficit and global trade, the government’s performance seems to be lacking vigour.

However, as per the IANS-CVoter survey, 31.7 per cent of the respondents said that the government’s performance is ‘much better than expected’ in 2020, whereas it was 36.1 per cent in 2019 and 36.1 per cent in 2015.

–IANS

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