Managing the rural downturn

16 MAR,2020 | medc


The global slowdown due to Covid-19 is likely to dampen demand in the economy, and, in turn, affect the agricultural sector. Agricultural incomes will be impacted, and fiscal and monetary policy today has limited room to manoeuvre. But this also presents a unique opportunity to revive rural demand. The sharp fall in oil prices due to competition between Russia and Saudi Arabia has given India another chance at uplifting its rural economy. The government should pass on some of the gains of falling fuel prices to citizens and increase rural spending to boost demand. The pandemic has also brought to the fore a range of related issues, from the vulnerability of our institutions to the role of social media in the spread of misinformation. We should ensure that this scenariodoes not spill over into our rural sector, where the bulk of our population still resides. The rural situation is grim, but innovative policymaking can salvage it.

*Photo Credit: Google

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