Indian government must focus on reviving rural economy first

Indian farmers need more support from their government. EPA
Indian farmers need more support from their government. EPA

I write to you in reference to Rebecca Bundhun’s article Are the troubles of India’s faltering economy being vastly overstated? (September 1): It is important to underscore that India’s growth story is fuelled by agricultural productivity and rising rural incomes. This year, however, erratic monsoons meant many farmers were unable to reap their crops such as wheat and soybean on schedule. This rendered much of the agricultural labour unemployed. Workers lead hand-to-mouth lives, and given that they had no savings to bank on, they had to cut down on essentials like soaps, biscuits and toothpaste.

Such falls in demand for consumer products tend to trigger vicious cycles resulting in unemployment in other sectors and further reductions in purchasing power and sales. The Indian government must realise that 45 per cent of the demand for consumer products comes from rural India. It should, therefore, focus on reviving the rural economy first.

It should start by providing alternative sources of employment to farm labourers like road construction and the building of agrarian infrastructure like warehouses, cold storages and canals. If the villages of India start shopping for soaps and biscuits again, the urban areas will start booming as well.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

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Published: September 18, 2019 08:25 PM


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