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August 2019


The Indian economy is in a tailspin. And it is fast spinning out of control. From a slowdown over the past few quarters, we may walk into a fully-blown recession within a year, i.e. in 2020. One is unable to understand why the Modi 2.0, which knows what to do, isn’t doing anything about it. Experts talk about a challenging period ahead. For those who know, this implies that the economy needs to be pulled out of the current malaise. The time for nudge and stimulus is gone. Now, we need drastic and focused policies and decisions.
The writing on the economic wall seems ominous. In the final quarter of 2018-19, GDP growth was 5.8%, the lowest in the past 20 quarters. The annual rate was 6.8%, the lowest in the past five years, and lower than the projected 7%. In some sectors, the situation is frightening. Auto sales are down to a 20-year-low. Consumer demand in several segments like FMCG took a huge dip, thanks to the growing crisis in non-banking finance companies. Manufacturing and agriculture are in part-crises. Core sectors have witnessed downward trends.
What is more crucial is the accompanying lack of jobs. Across formal and informal segments, people are being pink-slipped and sent back home at a few hours’ notice. No one is sure about tomorrow. Vendors’ payments are delayed by 6-9 months. There is a cash-flow crunch in the market. Those who have money don’t want to spend it. Those who don’t cannot get what is due to them. In addition, there is a huge uncertainty within the business community. Fear, apprehension, and doubt have gripped the lower classes, middle classes, and the rich and elite without exceptions.