In his column for the New Indian Express, Shankkar Aiyar comments on the Indian government discourse on the economic slowdown. He urges for addressing State's dur compensations and highlights a few solutions that the central government can adopt.
" Beyond the rhetoric, the construct is problematic at many levels — to start with subscription to omnipotence of the unseen equally demands acceptance of divine benevolence. Critically, the genesis of the virus which has caused the pandemic is yet unclear – questions on whether it was sue generis, an immaculate conception or created in a laboratory in China or elsewhere are as yet unanswered.
The postulate also constrains scientific interrogation and confuses correlation with causation — sequentially the contraction in the economy is the consequence of the lockdown imposed by the government.
The reality is that India migrated from eight quarters of slowdown to lockdown. Need for money — for recapitalising banks, for unpaid dues, for rising social subsidies — will follow requiring the Centre to knock on the doors of debt and deficit. There are options. The government can hive off holdings in Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) and Life Insurance Corporation into a sovereign fund, India Investment Corporation. The underlying value can be leveraged to issue bonds to wealth funds, pension funds and HNIs and followed by the phased sale of entities. "
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