How to sustain the recovery of the economy

India’s highly-anticipated second quarter (Q2) GDP numbers for fiscal year (FY) 2021-22, announced on November 30, brought plenty of cheer. For the first time since the Covid virus devastated the economy, the Q2 growth figure was back to pre-pandemic levels. Real GDP in Q2 grew 8.4 per cent, matching the output in the corresponding quarter in FY2019-20, before the pandemic struck. This indicated that the Indian economy was on the road to recovery. The Union finance ministry’s monthly review of the economy for November optimistically stated, ‘India is among the few countries that have recorded four consecutive quarters of growth amid Covid-19 (Q3, Q4 of FY2020-21 and Q1, Q2 of FY2021-22), reflecting the resilience of the Indian economy. The recovery was driven by a revival in services, full recovery in manufacturing and sustained growth in the agriculture sectors.’ The challenge now is to ensure a robust and sustained recovery—and the road ahead is nothing less than arduous.