Finally, it all boils down to only three variables – politics, monsoons and the budget in July. A combination of these three in varying degrees is going to determine the future of the economy – as well as the speed of recovery from the current economic slowdown. Brrrr… that’s a damn spine-chilling, peace-of-mind-wrecking thought!!!
First, there is no way you can avoid the political fallout of the impending elections on the economic future of this country. Whichever political blend rises to the top after the electoral churn — whether it is the Congress (in various combinations with its old allies, including with or without the Left Front), the NDA, the Third front, or even the Fourth Front – their economic policy, and their strategy to extricate the economy from the current morass, is going to be closely watched.
This political combine’s socio-political philosophy – some of which is nothing but a vulgar manifestation of crony capitalism — will also be critical in framing the July budget, which also has a large role to play on how the economy pans out in the next couple of years. Suppose, in a replay of the 1996 freak outcomes, what if some poor, hapless soul gets chosen as the consensus prime minister? Will you trust your economic policy to him?
The current source of economic pride – that India’s GDP is still growing at over 5% — lies in the villages and the semi-urban settlements. Their source of consumption power flows from a number of propitious barrels – the loan waivers (which has spotty distribution), the NREG, the rising minimum support price for rice and wheat, etc. But, god forbid, one bad monsoon and it all goes…poof!…up in smoke.
The frightening bit about all the three variables is that you and I seemingly have no control over any of these factors. But, we do have control over one lever. And, that’s our vote. Make it count, guys .