GO RURAL: THE NEW MANTRA
As per the latest estimates of the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), thegrowth rate of the Indian economy during 2008-09 is expected to be around 7.1per cent, as against the earlier expectations of 8 per cent. Not only this, it has
now been estimated that India’s growth rate during the financial year ending
March 2010 would moderate further to 5.5 per cent, which would be lowestduring the past several years.As direct fallout of the ongoing global recession, rapidly increasing unemploymentrate has been a major cause of concern. In USA, the unemployment rate has goneup to 8.7 per cent and the same in Japan has also been the highest in the recenttimes. China has reported 20 million job losses. In India this figure is officiallyestimated to be about 5 lakh during the quarter ending December 2008. Loss of jobs in the unorganized sector due to reduced economic activity is going to bemuch higher and beyond estimation.International Labour Organisation (ILO) maintains that the employment rate inIndia and other South Asian nations may by lower than the world average, due totheir lesser exposure to the American economy and the financial markets.Further, relatively larger rural base in India is a positive and strong factor incombating the ill effects of global recession. It is perhaps for the first time afterthe onset of the process of reforms that the Indian government has realized theimportance of the rural economy to tide over the difficult economic situation.