After pandemic India Can take ways for future growth and Recovery

by Admin

Posted on May 16, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Encourage long-term change in behavior

The current crisis has changed patterns of consumption. Electricity usage patterns have shifted as people are working from home on more flexible schedules. Non-essential purchases have temporarily ceased. All these offer an opportunity for implementing demand-side solutions to drive long-term behavior changes for more sustainable development.

For instance, encouraging conservation in energy – through nudges and tariff reforms – can drive down consumption. Promoting reuse, recycling and repair models for consumption can contribute to a circular economy and reduce the waste generated by current business models. Supporting the continuation of work-from-home policies can drive down road traffic congestion and air pollution.

While encouraging the continuation of these new trends, the government should also foster new behaviors. For example, with nearly 80% of the population expected to be in the middle-income bracket by 2030, it is extremely important to attract them to public transport options. The government could achieve this through expanding connectivity to business districts, improving and streamlining the network and discouraging the use of cars through measures such as road congestion pricing, paid street parking and higher taxes on luxury vehicles.

Regulate enabling technologies

Finally, it is useful to consider that the future may see greater employment in the gig economy and e-commerce sectors, as well as in new technologies that can help support future response and resilience mechanisms. While supporting the development of such sectors, it is important to put the right regulations in place to ensure data privacy and consumer protection.

The decisions taken today can provide immediate relief, but also secure a lasting economic recovery, increase community resilience, and ensure a long-term pathway to sustainable development. We should not let this chance slip.

Invest in sustainable infrastructure

Infrastructure investments are an effective way to boost economic activity and create jobs. But what kind of infrastructure should be built? Data from the 2008-09 financial crisis shows that South Korea, which directed nearly 70% of its stimulus towards green measures, rebounded faster than other economies in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In the United States’ 2009 Great Recession recovery package, investments in clean energy and public transport created more jobs than traditional investments.

India too should take this opportunity to increase support for renewable energy, particularly rooftop solar, through appropriate policies and business models. Decentralized solar power can help spread critical services in remote regions if the upfront capital constraints can be addressed. It should revisit the potential import duties on solar panels, since this may not increase domestic production, but may raise the cost of solar power.

Similarly, scaling up the electrification and adoption of public transport will be critically important to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. This should involve closer coordination with the electricity sector and a greater focus on vehicle charging infrastructure. Continued investment in cold storage facilities and supply chains will ensure the preservation and timely delivery of agricultural produce and reduce losses to farmers.

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