The country’s economy seems to be improving after it has been on the rack for a while. It has, indeed, been a long while. New projections tell us that our economy is now set to grow at the rate of six percent. The news is good.
It is good news because it gives us a reason to feel hopeful. It gives us reasons to be happy, confident and to work harder. But it is at times like this, particularly, when we must think about how best to make our economy strong and resilient.
What we must know is that our economy has some chance of growing only because of India’s economic success. And that is not good news, really. An economy that is too dependent on others’ is a weak economy.
For our economy to grow, there should be investment. The Rs 61.6 billion assistance from India is good. This will help government invest and that will lead to economic growth. But our economic growth should be sustainable and robust.
So, how do we make our economy healthy and strong?
Investments should be made in the areas that will help industries, big and small, to produce more marketable goods and services. There should be more private investments. For that to happen, there should be encouragement from the government.
Hydropower has been our priority. It is the biggest earner of all the sectors. What significant exportable products do we have besides electricity? Our major industries are not creating more jobs. At the same time, unemployment is adding strain on the economy.
We need to look at investment in productive engagements that will help produce more marketable products and help create employment opportunities at the same time. But what is more important for the country is not just economic growth. There is a compelling need to achieve economic independence.
Our rural economy may improve with many projects approved by Business Opportunity and Information Centre. About 967 small and medium projects are set to kick-start soon. More investments from abroad are expected to come in. Domestic businesses are growing.
These are good signs.
What we must achieve is, however, real economic growth. We are a proud agrarian country. But why are we still struggling with our “organic” dream? Why are our people increasingly leaving their land fallow? Why are we not able to produce enough to sell?
But we must first be able to produce enough to feed ourselves. Only then will our economic growth be strong, healthy and sustainable.