The government can no longer go ahead thinking this is business as usual. The current strategy is ad hoc and needs a change. The crisis measures have to be a part of a medium-term strategy. The current crisis must be seen as an opportunity to revive domestic production.
The current account deficit has ballooned partly because court orders have closed Indian mines for iron ore and coal, reducing exports and necessitating imports of those products. Non-essential imports, particularly those imports that have affected employment and livelihood, and gold imports have to be reduced. This is why the food security bill is good as it releases people with incomes for other spending.
If the private sector is not willing to invest, we need to get on with it.
We need an alternative source of demand that creates necessary infrastructure.
(As told to Girija Shivakumar)