While there can be no gainsaying the fact that key economic indicators have improved in the last few weeks, this improvement is neither broad-based nor has India outpaced other emerging markets in recovery.
The rare emphasis by these two business chambers on hiking health spend follows close on the heels of some MPs ticking off the government for inadequate health infra. A parliamentary standing committee has already underlined the paucity of hospital beds, doctors, nurses and other medical infrastructure.
The government has again started the process for selling off AI. This time, all of the airline is on the block, the enterprise value has to be discovered through the bidding process and only 15% of the EV has to be paid upfront by the winner.
There is a ‘substantial’ difference between wholesale and retail prices, indicating supply side issues and profiteering by middlemen, and prices of most foods are likely to persist at elevated levels.
The GDP growth in Q2 (July-September) was -7.5% against -23.9% degrowth in the June quarter, bringing all-round cheer. But this cheer needs to be tempered with caution. The government has asserted the Q2 data point to a V-shaped recovery. Will it hold?
The key to broad-based economic recovery has to be sustained growth in most of these metrics – retail vehicle sales, GST, income tax and corporate tax collections and in employment. A new round of fiscal stimulus from the government wouldn’t hurt, either.
It is interesting to note that retail price inflation has raised its ugly head in these months despite weak consumption demand due to the Covid-19 fallout and within overall inflation, the spike in prices of fruits and vegetables is the biggest culprit.
After several opposition states threatened to take the entire matter to court, the Centre has now come up with a plan that makes it appear as if the Centre is retreating from its earlier combative position. But it isn’t.