GDP Negative Growth, ‘An Act Of God’: Nirmala Sitharaman

GDP Negative Growth, 'An Act Of God': Nirmala Sitharaman

As per the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Monday, the GDP of India contracted by 23.9 per-cent for April to June quarter.
After these numbers are revised with better-quality data, GDP numbers are likely to become worse.

In at least four decades, India never had this bad GDP. Since 1996, when the country started publishing GDP data quarterly, this is the first time India’s GDP has negative growth.

However, the government blames COVID-19 pandemic behind this negative growth of GDP. Earlier, India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman blamed India’s economic slowdown on “an act of god.”

Online supporters led by BJP affirmed that India’s economic growth was less bad than many other countries including the US. They said that anyone who is saying otherwise is spreading false news, reported Scroll.

However, as per the facts, India’s GDP was the worst when compared to other countries upon hit by the pandemic.

Observers say that India’s harsh lockdown in the initial days of the pandemic outbreak is to be blamed for this negative growth of GDP.

Vivek Kaul, an economics and finance writer said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed the lockdown too quickly without thinking through it.

Joydeep Baruah, an economist with the Guwahati-based Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development said, “There is no denying that CCOVIDhas played a role, but before that too there was a clear deceleration in the economy evident in the government’s own data.”
“Since 2016-’17 there have been clear and visible signs of contraction – this reflected in both quarterly and annual data of the government.”

This deceleration, Baruah pointed out, was spread across all sectors. “It was all pervasive,” he said.

Baruah further said that the economy was already falling so it was not able to bear the pandemic’s external shock.
“If the economy is resilient enough, it will absorb some of the consequences of the shock, but the Indian economy was in the middle of a continuous two-year recession when Covid struck,” said Baruah.


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