Government could have done more for economy: Ashok Lahiri : 03-06-2020

Pushing for increased cash transfers, a panel of leading economists suggested income support and higher infrastructure spending to revive demand and stimulate growth, during a virtual conference on Tuesday.

According to Ashok Lahiri, member of the 15th Finance Commission, there was more scope for intervention in direct cash transfers, stressing the importance of coordination between central and state governments to ensure an effective delivery mechanism.

He was speaking on the theme of ‘Growth and Beyond’, during the annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Highlighting the need for accelerated spending in the infrastructure sector, Lahiri said, “Infrastructure spending is a must, as it will create employment and output simultaneously.”

Weighing in on the discussion Shankar Acharya, honorary professor at ICRIER said restoring jobs should be the primary purpose of getting growth back on track, considering the massive hit the lockdown brought on employment and output.

As external demand was also important for recovery, India should focus on becoming export oriented and take advantage of recovering world trade, Acharya said. However, it would have to first address issues relating to logistics and goods and services refunds, he added.

The country could become a world class exporter if it could develop products without subsidies while meeting domestic demand in a competitive manner, according to Rathin Roy, director of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.

According to Roy, a vibrant healthcare sector along with affordable housing and a robust education sector would play key roles in India’s future growth path.

Source : Financial Express