Hyderabad: The chairman of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Telangana, Mr T. Muralidharan, on Tuesday said India's employment elasticity is now negative, making this “the worst time ever in the past 20 years". He said, "Employment elasticity is negative now in India, while in the 1990s it was around 0.4 per cent.” A negative employment elasticity indicates that the economy is unable to create employment with progress in the economy.

Speaking at a panel discussion on budget analysis, Mr Muralidharan said the government needs to change its mindset in terms of handling the economy. “People are the majority partners in the country, and it is the farmers and the tech sector who should lead the economy. It is the citizens who invest and the government needs to get off its high-horse and be questioned the same way citizens are being monitored by the government.”

K. Padmanabhaiah, former Home secretary of at the Administration Staff College of India (ASCI), said, “The Union budget has produced many figures but are they achievable? Unless you have the revenue, the estimates may not work unless there is a proper working plan."

Meanwhile, V. Srinivas Chary, professor of urban governance at ASCI, said the Union budget 2020-21 is silent on factors like ease of living, especially in urban regions. “There is a lot of talk on ease of doing business, but why is the budget not talking about ease of living? While the census says that 34 per cent of the total population is urban, they contribute to 72 per cent of the country’s GDP. When cities become unlivable, without proper air and water, this is bound to affect the citizens who will suffer double taxation,” he said.

“To put it simply, your furniture will get costly, so will your sports shoes and your electric SUV. Further, your digital transactions will have to be authenticated by the government,” said Abhinav Srivastava from BDO, India.

The panel discussion on budget analysis was jointly organised by ASCI, FICCI and BDO India in Hyderabad on 4 February.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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