Opinion | Riding out the slowdown roller coaster

When a consumer goods firm says that it is finding five-rupee biscuit packs difficult to sell, you know the slowdown is not limited to white collar jobs and to people like us, but is biting down hard across the board. The signs of slowdown are everywhere—in the sudden job losses reported across the country, in the tiny increments that keep the income barely above inflation, in the stories that friends and family tell of small businesses struggling to stay alive, of poor sales off-take, of downgrading of stuff from premium to pure utility and then postponing purchases.

One way to understand this pain is to see it in the context of a larger change in the political narrative that wants to clean up the country—Swachh Bharat is not just about a physical clean-up but towards a cleaner way to do business and freedom from corruption. You can read more about this here.

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Opinion: Govt needs to spell out the new rules of the game for industry, economy

It looked as if the rain would derail the annual Mint Mutual Fund Conclave in Mumbai where every year we debate issues related to the industry and investors. This year since we had the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, Bibek Debroy, giving the keynote, we decided to have a closed-door roundtable where he would interact with some financial sector leaders to have a candid conversation about issues like the real GDP numbers, the budget, the slowdown that industry says is palpable and the changed rulebook of this government. There is worry among employees, investors and the industry on the slowdown in the economy. Wealth managers peg their advice and asset management decisions on potential growth, and if this number is in doubt, the ground moves from under the feet. But as the rain did not keep away the financial sector leaders or the delegates, there was an animated debate. Here are a few takeaways from the conversation and the event.

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