In our country, discussions about the economy and politics go side by side. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh recently said that Mughals and Britishers were responsible for the weakening of the Indian economy. India was the largest stakeholder in the world economy, with over 36% share during the Mughal era. It was reduced to 20% when the British arrived in India when it was further reduced to 4%.
Reacting on the matter the AIMIM leader, Asaduddin Owaisi accepted that the economy was completely devastated during the British rule, but it was the other way round during the Mughal period, he added. He even referred to Dadabhai Naoroji, (the first Indian member of the British Parliament), who had also written that the Indian economy declined after 1800 “when the Mughals were no more”. However, Owaisi pointed out that during the rule of Jahangir, India’s contribution to the world GDP was 25%, and it continued till the time of Aurangzeb when India even overtook the economy of China. India overtook the economy of China during the last great Mughal’s rule. There is no need to quarrel on the historical facts as one Manchester-born English writer Jeanette Winterson penned: “History is a string full of knots, the best you can do is admire it, and maybe tie it up a bit more. History is a hammock for swinging and a game for playing.”
If the ruling party presents a rosy picture of the country’s overall economic conditions, the opposition parties are not buying it. That’s why we hear them talking about GDP, exports, fiscal policy and formal sectors. But if we do not participate in this debate, the political views will prevail over the talk on the economy. This tendency of the political parties should not stop us from exchanging views on the current status of the Indian economy.
In this regard, two contradictory views have been asserted in recent days: one is from a financial professional Gaurav Vallabh while another comes from widely known BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Criticising the state of the country’s economy Vallabh said, all is not well with the economy at present as the country’s gross domestic product lowers down to a dismal level. While the other stated that macroeconomic policies were badly needed at the moment. If we weigh both the experts’ opinions jointly, there pops up an urgent need for a big improvement. With leanings towards the Congress party, Gaurav Vallabh maintained that the U.S. policies were not as good and favourable to us. In this connection, he reminded of the U.S. policy of rejecting visa of Indians working in the IT sector that has enhanced four to five times currently.
The pressure of this policy was even badly realised in our great country; he asserted adding that even the supply of Basmati rice and apples in the American markets are continuously declining due to the exclusion of India from the Generalised System of Preferences. As a result, our goods are not going to become competitive, and it can be easily discerned in the decrease in exports to America from the year 2014. He points out that our economy dangles between the formal and informal economy in the process of the GDP analysis. To bring improvements, the BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has emphasized a few important factors.
Though he accepts that Modi is hard on his welfare schemes and programmes, Swamy wants the banks not to go beyond 9% in giving loans. But he hastens to favour the interest rates on deposits and savings accounts to be at 9%. He even finds the GST undesirable for the country at its present stage of development. For him, the abolition of the income tax becomes the only option to raise the people’s savings. He also stated that the government was applying various unconventional measures, including massive tax giveaways to prop up growth slipping to a six-year low. He underlined that the economy requires a multi-lateral approach which encompasses different aspects. We will have to wait for a big announcement if we have to measure it in terms of better GDP advancement.