Former Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh mentioned the coming of stagflation in the economy in the article ‘The Fountainhead of India’s Economic Malaise’. He stated that only a trustworthy economic environment can revive the economy.
Citing the current economic slowdown, the former PM said that distrust, fear, and helplessness in the society reflect in the economic situation of the country too. Industrialists, bankers and entrepreneurs, agents of the economy, remain under constant despair and avoid taking actions. It becomes a negative sign as they play an essential role in the economic development of the country.
Industrialists fear of harassment by government authorities and bankers are resistant to issue new loans fearing retribution. Moreover, entrepreneurs hesitate to start new projects as they might get in trouble with the government due to failure. He further added that citizens live under constant surveillance, lowering their confidence.
Concerning the economic situation, he said that a sharp decline in GDP, steepest fall in consumer spending over four decades. The rising unemployment proves the existence of a ‘malaise’ that is plaguing the economy. Confidence and self-trust are lost and the economy is bearing the consequences of the same. The country is heading towards stagflation because of persisted low demand, high inflation and unemployment. The negative sentiment amongst stakeholders affected by fear further add to the slowdown.
Manmohan Singh pointed to the ineffective monetary measures and said that now, fiscal measures must take over to boost the economy. He emphasized the need for a ‘twin action policy’ where fiscal policy is used for reviving demand and social policy to build trust among the economic participants of the country. Alleging the Modi government for its ‘deep suspicion’ behavior. He further insisted the government on to let go of the ‘wrong evil characterization’ and spread trustworthiness among people to boost the health of the economy.
In conclusion, the whole process needs redressing to see positive effects in the future. The Fountainhead of India’s Economic Malaise explains the current economic situation of the country very clearly.