'Economic slowdown can be reversed in 6 months'

'Economic slowdown can be reversed in 6 months'

Image for representation only.

The prevailing slowdown in the economy can be reversed in the coming six months, according to Debasish Roy, CEO of Smart Cities Next in India.

During a recent executive committee meeting of the body advocating policy change for the government’s Smart Cities Mission in India, Roy suggested solutions for total reversal of the economic slowdown in six months with the government implementing three major steps.

One suggestion is the rationalisation of the GST rate -- a demand that the industry has been making for a long time. Roy suggested that the GST Council should peg tax rates between 5% and 8%. 

"Despite all its benefits, demonetisation also ensured that it killed off enough honest businesses, which dealt in cash to put a dent in the economy," saidRoy.

Owners of these small businesses took up jobs in large organisations, including as drivers for taxi apps or delivery men for e-commerce, he said. "This damaged the Indian economy as the unorganised sector contributes around 50% of India’s GDP growth. These small businesses need at least five years from now to catch up if the GST rate is at 28% or even 18%," he said.

He also suggested that the government should tweak the Smart Cities Mission Policy and convert it into the Smart Urban Heart Policy. 

Another way to turn the economy around, according to Roy, is by promoting and initiating clusters with pre-drawn licenses and clearances. "The Union Government has already promoted and successfully achieved some clusters for manufacturing high-technology devices," Roy said. "The government needs to replicate that model all over India as soon as possible for sustained employment of skilled Indian professionals.

"This is the stable employment model that India needs for long-term planning for engaging manpower and also to increase export potential."