Humane ways - GulfToday

Humane ways


Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of IMF, attends a conference in Germany.

The IMF has predicted a growth rate of 4.2 per cent in 2022. Statistics however, will not tell the real underlying stories of the economic pains in every country in the world.

The agony and poverty suffered by ordinary citizens, cannot be camouflaged by growth rate statistics. People have lost jobs, savings, livelihoods, homes, family members, during the last two years.

Poverty and unemployment have augmented. There is a shortage of workers in almost every country in every industry, as lockdowns ease.

Migratory labour, which returned to their countries and homes, have yet to return to their work places. So, a key goal should be to inspire confidence amongst people and get production units to operate at full capacities.

Government across the world, especially in the developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America will have to spend copiously on social benefits like subsidised food and medicines for the poor. The priority should be to generate jobs and provide livelihoods to those who have suffered the most, during the pandemic. The more sensitive governments in Asia and Africa should suspend income taxes for people who are middle class or lower.  Governments should also consider exempting basic foods like flour, sugar, lentils, edible oils, cooking gas, from all taxes for about two years to help the poor.

It is also time for Governments to undertake serious reviews of their medical facilities. People across the world have died waiting for hospital beds, medicines, vaccines, oxygen, etc.

In countries like India, people have had to pay for the vaccines too. Grand projects and statues should be postponed for some years.

Priority should be given to establishing hospitals, beds, ICUs, medical colleges, nursing institutes, etc. Whether global growth is three or four per cent means very little to the 124 million people punched below the poverty line of USD two per day, during the pandemic.

About 228 million people live below the poverty line now. About 100 million people in India have sunk into poverty during the pandemic.

2022 will be a year to practise “Humane Economics”, where common and poor people come before polemical debates on global growth rates.

Rajendra Aneja,
Mumbai, India

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