THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 17 October 2020 Best way out (Indian Express)

Best way out (Indian Express)

Mains Paper 2: International Relations 
Prelims level: International Monetary Fund
Mains level: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate


  • The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest World Economic Outlook underlines the extent of the dislocation in economic activities across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • At the aggregate level, the Fund expects the global economy to contract by 4.4 per cent in 2020, with sharp differences across countries.
  • For the Indian economy, the Fund’s prognosis is grim.
  • The IMF now expects the Indian economy to contract by 10.3 per cent this fiscal year, worse than its earlier forecast, and that of the RBI’s.
  • Of the major economies, only two others, Italy and Spain, are expected to contract in double digits.

Reversal of trend:

  • The Fund’s latest assessment comes at a time when the signals from the BJP-ruled Centre suggest a reversal of decades of trade liberalisation and a return to the failed policies of self-sufficiency or atmanirbharta.
  • A comparison with Bangladesh in this regard is instructive.
  • According to the IMF’s medium-term forecasts, Bangladesh’s per capita GDP is expected to overtake India’s this year, though as the Indian economy rebounds next year, the situation is likely to reverse.
  • However, over the five-year period ending in 2025, Bangladesh’s per capita GDP is expected to grow at a slightly higher pace, implying that in 2025, its per capita income would be $2,756, marginally higher than that of India’s at $2,729.
  • In part, Bangladesh’s recent economic performance, and differences between the two countries can be traced to the former’s stellar export performance, especially in garments and apparel.
  • In comparison, India’s exports have remained sluggish, as export pessimism has taken hold.

 Drivers of growth:

  • In the current context, with three of the four drivers of growth struggling, exports could provide the much-needed fillip to India’s economy.
  • However, this would require India to reverse its recent stance on trade — lower rather than raise tariffs, embrace free trade agreements, and seek greater integration with global supply chains.
  • Former chief economic advisor wrote that with wages in China rising, it has vacated about $140 billion in exports of unskilled labour intensive sectors, including apparel, clothing, leather and footwear.
  • While countries like Bangladesh are better placed to take advantage of this opportunity, post-COVID, as companies try to hedge their supply chain risks, and shifts away from China intensify, this will provide India yet another opportunity.
  • However, this will require the government to pivot away from protectionism.


  • Like Bangladesh, India should focus on world market, shun protectionism, seek greater integration with global supply chains.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the RBI Deputy Governors, consider the following statements:
1. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of RBI’s senior-most Executive Director M. Rajeshwar Rao as Deputy Governor.
2. The RBI needs four Deputy Governors: two from within the ranks, a commercial banker and an economist to head the monetary policy department.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C

   Mains  Questions:

Q.1)Describe the key highlights of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook.