High food prices, declining Jobs and continued attacks on small-savings makes for grim economic prospects.
When RBI Governor, Raghuram Rajan recently described Indian economy as “a one-eyed king in the land of the blind”, a few of our union ministers were outraged about his comments.
In fact, they should have been pleased because Rajan was more than charitable in describing the darkness that has engulfed our economy due to the mismanagement of the BJP government. No amount of torturing of the data by the spin-masters of the Sangh and the BJP will make it confess anything other than the dispiriting economic truth which every Indian faces today.
In FY 2015-16, the first full financial year under the current BJP government, India’s exports declined by 15.9 per cent, the worst decline ever in 63 years. The decline is not limited to one area but across sectors, from services to engineering goods. Under Modi as Prime Minister, exports have declined for 16 months in a row.
To put this in perspective, even during the height of the ongoing global economic crisis of 2008-09, the decline had been arrested after nine months. Forget making any gains under the Hindutva Model of economics, our exports in USD terms are at a five-year low.
This may be apt for a government committed to taking India backwards rather quickly, but clearly not something every man and woman in this country aspires towards.
On aspirations, the BJP in its 2014 election manifesto had promised 2 crore jobs every year. Two years under the Modi government, this kind of economics has in fact taken jobs away.
With no jobs at hand, the poor also face the spectre of rising food prices. The wholesale price of lentils, ‘I’, our staple source of protein, went up by 34.45 per cent in March. 34.45 per cent in a single month in wholesale! Now imagine the impact it will have on the retail consumer who is trying to survive on her daily dal-roti.
To compound the miseries, this government has targeted the small savers by slashing savings rates on public instruments, while disposable incomes are low, prices high and the mood despondent.
As a friend remarked:
“Achhe din ki to baat door,
Naseeb mein nahi ab daal Tur”
(Let alone the promise of good times, we can’t even afford to eat Tur dal/lentils daal today).
Sitaram Yechury is the General Secretary of the CPI-M. Views expressed here are the author’s own and jantakareporter.com doesn’t subscribe to them
(Illustration by Satish Acharya: Courtesy Yechury’s Facebook page)