The coronavirus pandemic has not just devastated lives and health but has also wrecked the Indian economy. According to the latest figures, India’s GDP growth rate is expected to shrink a staggering 7.6% this fiscal year. The Modi government after dividing the nation and eroding its social fabric has also brought down the roaring economy.
The declining growth rate is being attributed to the pandemic which exposed India’s nascent healthcare system and brought the economy to its knees. However, the economic situation in India is not an outlier but started much earlier when Modi came to power. Apart from the fascist Hindutva policies, the Modi regime also implemented devastating economic policies such as the abrupt demonetization policy in 2016 which brought the current situation. India’s economy will grow only 1.6% this year but it has also failed on most economic indicators and faces surging inflation, high unemployment, widening fiscal deficit, and depreciating rupee value. All these factors will cast a shadow on the Indian economy which is unlikely to show resilience and rebound anytime soon.
The current predicament India sees itself in is being blamed on the sudden lockdown imposed by the Modi government. The Indian economy came to a screeching halt and people became jobless overnight as they faced the grim reality of death or starvation. The Indian government was unable to reopen key industries except for agriculture and Gross Added Value declined. The GDP per capita is at the same rate as 2016 which implies that an Indian citizen has not progressed in the past five years.
On the contrary, Pakistan is expected to witness economic growth of over 4% this year. Prime Minister Imran Khan has hailed the growth for not implementing a total shutdown like India. Today, we have less than a million cases and the death just above 20,000 is way lower than the region. The government is hailing this as a success of its prudent policies in controlling the pandemic and reviving the economy.
Irrespective of the causes, it should be acknowledged that Pakistan has been safe from the carnage and economic devastation which India is going through. The prime minister has said the good days are ahead and our economy will grow even further. We need to keep the situation under control as it affects our lives and livelihood.