The world has been suffering from an economic meltdown thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. It has seen multinational companies struggling to run their operations, while employees are getting laid off, and small businesses are shutting shops.
Recently, liquor shops were opened in a few selected states for the first time since lockdown started and it saw a huge boost to the economy with thousands queuing up to quench their thirsts for spirits. Indian government also came up with a Rs 20 lakh crore relief package.
But what are other ways to boost the economy in today’s crisis?
What citizens can do?
Buy and use local products
It’s time to buy and sell Indian products only. Indian citizens should take the pledge to stop using Chinese and other foreign products altogether. It’s only when you buy and sell local products, the money stays in India and the economy gets a boost. So, next time, if you buy a foreign branded clothes, watches, or luxury items, think of the Indian economy. India needs its people to deal whole-heartedly in local products only.
What the government can do?
The government has to play a major role to boost the economy. Here are a few ways the government can boost the Indian economy.
a) Tax cuts for middle-income group families
It’s only when the citizens have higher disposable income that they can deal extensively in local products. And the government can do its bid by providing tax rebates to enable more disposable income in the hands of the citizens. If the government takes such a step, it would give a positive signal to the citizens to do their bid to boost the Indian economy.
b) Direct cash transfer to lower-income group families
The coronavirus pandemic has seen the lower-income group family worst affected as they are daily wage earners depending mainly on construction activities in big cities to survive. Hence, a mass exodus of migrant workers to their respective states are seen currently as they are left with no income and jobs to survive.
The government can step in now and provide direct cash transfer to such families in their Jan Dhan account to tide over the crisis until the situation normalises. With money in their hands, these families would have some purchasing power to give a boost, even though small, to the Indian economy.
c) New economic policies
The government has to use the ongoing crisis to issue new economic policies to reduce the effect of the pandemic on the economy. The government can ease labour law restrictions on hiring and firing, provide easier land acquisition policy for industrial and infrastructural projects. They should also privatise more industries to let more money flow into the economy.
Each crisis brings it shares of challenges, but it also presents new opportunities to see the world in a new light. And the government and the citizens have a proactive role to play to not only protect the economy but also the nation.