Opinion | A note of caution on the issuance of sovereign bonds4 min read . Updated: 05 Jul 2019, 11:22 PM IST
The idea of borrowing directly from foreign investors is dangerous for many reasons
LABOUR-LAW REFORMS, BUDGET 2019, PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT : Whatever the financial markets and pundits may say about its proposals, it was an undeniably proud moment to have a woman finance minister presenting the Union budget to the nation. This significance was not lost on the FM herself, whose speech devoted considerable space to dwelling on the role of women in the formal economy. She said that her government was committed to moving from launching merely women-centric schemes to women-led initiatives. India’s lower house of Parliament now has the highest number of women representatives, but women’s labour force participation rate is declining steeply. It is down by 10% in the last decade and half, and is barely 22% now. Some of this stems from the perverse effects of rising average household income (and relatedly, the increased opportunity cost of childcare), and from socioeconomic factors. But raising the participation of women in the paid-work economy is clearly a high priority for the FM and her government. One hopes that the labour-law reforms she mentioned include enough flexibility to allow greater participation of women. If women’s participation rates are on par with men, and if we have pay parity for similar work, then India’s gross domestic product can jump by nearly 20%. Of course. that’s not going to happen in the near term, but it is useful to keep this goal in mind. Even a rich country like Japan has gone all out in the past few years to increase the participation of women.
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