Covid-19: Implications for Financial Inclusion, Msme Development and Agriculture

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Independently Published, 29 lug 2020 - 258 pagine
ForewordI have listened to John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" many times. It has always stirred my deepest emotions. I do not know why I turned to that sentimental song in the current context. Substituting the government for "daddy" and the citizen for the "boy", I felt an acute sense of irony. Leaders and governments ask us "to have no fear". They assure us that everyday in every way, things are getting better and better. But we cannot close our eyes. We know the monster is not gone, nor is it on the run. We are faced with a situation we have never encountered in our memory. The world has gone topsy-turvy. The lockdown measures announced by governments to contain the pandemic have hit many economies hard. Millions of jobs have simply vanished. The human suffering has reached colossal proportions. We can no longer afford to remain confined to our shells, saying our little prayers. We can hardly wait to see the economy getting kick-started. Of course, we have to be patient because "it's a long way to go, a hard row to hoe". But how do we go about it? To those groping in the dark, Ramesh Arunachalam sheds light through his latest book. It is to be welcomed for more than one reason. It is timely, original and pragmatic. Let me illustrate. All of us have an allergy for the middleman. But we are equally aware that he can never be dispensed with. We decry that he takes away a good part of the bread leaving only little crumbs for the producer/manufacturer. See how the author approaches the issue. He suggests that we must come up with a financing model in which there are more middlemen. Strong competition among them would ensure the best price for the producer who is at the bottom of the value chain. From this, one can note that the author is not a woolly-eyed idealist but someone who has firm feet on the ground. I must tell the readers that for all his strong grounding in theory, Ramesh is more a man from the field. Due to his years of experience at the grassroots across India and other countries of the world, Ramesh has a sharp and accurate insight into the workings of the market. That is why he has correctly identified the agricultural and MSME sectors as deserving immediate attention for effecting a turnaround in the economy. Book titles and blurbs invariably make claims not quite commensurate with the contents. But here you have a modest sounding title. I can assure you that what is inside is a veritable treasure of policy prescriptions made on a staggering scale. The book does not stop with a discourse on the implications of the current crisis. It delves far deeper and travels far beyond. It comes out with a set of fine-tuned technological and policy solutions that are eminently feasible to implement. We are still in the eye of the storm. It may take a while to ride it out. But when the monster is gone, what would be left behind is a trail of devastation and destruction. By taking the hand of the author, the mess can be cleared and the street crossed. That is why this latest offering from the prolific pen and brilliant mind of Ramesh Arunachalam has turned out to be a beautiful book.Hon'ble Mr. Justice G. R. SwaminathanJudge, Madras High Court

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