Finally even the chief of Niti Ayog also had to accept the economy is collapsing. Now the finance minister has rushed with some props to prevent it from falling further. She has announced rolls back of super-rich charges on foreign and domestic equity investors, to those speculators who make fortunes through portfolio investments in stock markets, sops to automobile majors and to other corporates for getting their help to kick start the economy again. But the reports speak about slow down reaching more areas, from automobiles and real estate to textiles, even to biscuits and other consumer items. Why? The purchasing power of the consumers is falling! Naturally, as even jobs of middle income groups are also falling sharply, and the unemployment rates have reached highest levels in 45 years. With the increasing slow down, hundreds of thousands are losing jobs every day. Along with the serious distress in the farm sector which is compelling thousands of farmers to commit suicide and millions of agricultural workers’ families forces to migrate to urban centres, the consequences of man-made climate change leading to draughts, flash floods and mud-slips have also sharply cut down the purchasing power of increasing number of people.
But, even many among the corporate think-tanks also agree that just by rolling back her own budget proposals presented two months back along with providing some sops to corporates, the increasing crisis cannot be solved; because the slow down, in the main, started from the time of demonetisation itself, and aggravated after the introduction of the GST. Though Modi succeeded to cover up the impending economic crisis during the election campaign through unleashing a muscular nationalist offensive projecting Phulwama and Balakot, and his finance minister presented her budget based on cooked up data in the economic survey, in spite of Modi’s efforts for whipping up frenzy among his majoritarian Hindutva vote bank through Kashmir, Pak-phobia, NRC like projects, one day the reality had to come out, as it has reached such a size that it cannot be covered up any more. Corporate media also forced to mention collapsing economy!
Now the billion dollar question is, can the finance minister block the torrent of economic slowdown with these sops to the corporate and speculative sharks? Under present crony capitalism, while all the benefits from these will be sucked up by these sharks, very little is going to tickle down to the masses. So, the employment and purchasing power shall go on decreasing, and the slowdown will only become more severe. What is required is the reversal of his phoney economic initiatives, and eventually the rejection of the neo-liberal/corporate policies, and developing self-reliant, sustainable, people oriented economy. As both are anathema to Modi regime and to the very corporate imperialist system itself, the crisis shall sharpen only. And as usual, the whole burden of the crisis shall come over the toiling masses. More than ever, they have only one way out: come out on the streets, intensify the struggles to throw out this barbarous ruling system!