Reforms lagging in gender equality in India: IMF

Last Updated: Friday, 15 January 2021 (15:19 IST)
New Delhi: has been lagging in India, though the government has done a “commendable” job on the monetary policy and the fiscal policy side to deal with the economic consequences of COVID-19 pandemic, says the International Monetary Fund.

“Women are front line workers, but they are also, by and large, in the contact intensive industries hit. They are often in the informal economy, help cannot easily reach them, so they are hit,” said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director.
 
“Labour market participation in for women has been low. It is shrinking,” she said, and that the government need to pay more attention to the issue.
 
“I know the government is paying attention, it is moving in that [direction], but there is so much space to tap into the productive potential of women and the entrepreneurial potential of women,” said Georgieva during a media interaction on Thursday.
 
She said India has taken “very decisive steps” to deal with the pandemic and to deal with the economic consequences of it. On the pandemic side, India went for a very dramatic lockdown for a country of this size of population with people clustered so closely together. And then it moved to more targeted restrictions and lockdowns.
 
“And what we see is that that transition, combined with policy support, seems to have worked well. Why? Because if you look at mobility indicators, we are almost where we were before COVID in India, meaning that economic activities have been revitalised quite significantly.
 
“What the government has done on the monetary policy and the fiscal policy side is commendable.”
 
“It is actually slightly above the average for emerging markets. Emerging markets on average have provided six percent of GDP. In India this is slightly above that. Good for India is that there is still space to do more.”
 
The official said 2021 is the year to use that space but use it wisely in “a more targeted manner” and to support an accelerated transformation of the economy.
 
“I would finish by saying that I am impressed by the appetite for structural reforms that India is retaining. We welcome that,” she said, asking India not to give up on structural reforms. (UNI)
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