As one of the rock stars of the emerging market countries, economists are thinking India’s halo is beginning to look a touch tarnished right now after its first quarter GDP figures came out today. 5.3% up instead of the predicted 6.1%: the slowest rate of economic growth in almost nine years. A big change from the 9.2% hike for the same period last year. Now the government is dealing with mounting anger about the financial decisions they’re making, and the real pressure that Indian people are facing.
One man burnt his motorbike in the eastern state of Bihar during protests over the massive hike in petrol prices – the biggest single rise in ten years and the steepest in the country’s history - claiming it’ll be a darn sight cheaper to use a bicycle to get to work because he simply can’t afford to buy fuel. He said the country’s in a mess and ‘the government want us to go backwards’
And in New Delhi, members of the opposition BJP party and its supporters took drastic action by bringing train services to a standstill, blocking the tracks to call for a general strike and a reversal of last week’s decision by state-run oil firms to raise fuel prices more than 11 per cent. One party member said ordinary people are reeling under the pressure of inflation.
Written & Presented by Marverine Cole.