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In our pursuit of lining up articles on tricky words from editorials, we have come up with another article. This one focusses on the editorial on India’s Export Blocks. We hope that these articles are making the task of editorial-reading easy. Please remember that a word has multiple meanings and the list we publish here carries only the contextual sense of the word which was used in the editorial. When you read an editorial with that particular sense of the word, it simply helps you in recalling the word at a later stage.

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Difficult Word/ PhraseContextual Meaning
spurgive an incentive or encouragement to (someone)
loosen the purse stringsincrease the amount of money available to be spent
reckoningthe action or process of estimating something
spurta sudden marked burst or increase of activity or speed
prop upto give help, encouragement, or support to (someone)
ailingin poor health
clamoura loud and confused noise, especially that of people shouting vehemently
bleakwithout hope
exchequernational treasury
envisagedcontemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event

A slim stimulus: On Centre’s move spur (give an incentive or encouragement to (someone)) demand

The govt. cannot wait for the pandemic to ease to loosen the purse strings (increase) the amount of money available to be spent) further

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s fresh set of measures, on Monday, to spur consumer demand and capital expenditure include an interestingly designed tweak to the LTC allowances of government employees. Her reckoning (the action or process of estimating something) is that these would lend a ₹73,000 crore demand spurt (a sudden marked burst or increase of activity or speed) to prop up (to give help, encouragement, or support to (someone)) the ailing (in poor health) economy in the second half of this year. This could rise beyond ₹1-lakh crore if private sector employers offered similar LTC incentives. With industrial output slipping for the sixth month in a row in August, the clamour (a loud and confused noise, especially that of people shouting vehemently) for new stimulus measures had been growing ahead of a particularly bleak (without hope) festive season. But this package, which will cost the exchequer (national treasury) about 0.2% of GDP, taking overall fiscal support through the pandemic to 1.7% of GDP, may not be as persuasive as may have been envisaged (contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event). Enhancing the Centre’s capital expenditure in specific sectors by ₹25,000 crore from the extant level of ₹4.12-lakh crore is laudable. But pandemic restrictions have affected the ability to get new projects going. Till August, just about ₹1.34-lakh crore of the budgeted capex had been spent. The same problem plagues the ₹12,000 crore offered as an interest-free 50-year loan to States for capital spending over the next six months.

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While States have been allowed to use these loans to pay off existing contractors’ dues, the amounts on offer are unlikely to have an impact; ₹2,000 crore has been set aside for States that manage to complete three of four reforms mandated in the earlier Atmanirbhar Bharat package, in order to get additional borrowing leeway. Only some States may qualify for this. Too many conditions also pervade the consumption push. Linking LTC perks of government staff who have not availed them yet due to restricted travel during the pandemic to spending on non-travel items is an innovative nudge. But requiring them to spend three times their return ticket fares under LTC on goods and services attracting at least 12% GST from GST-registered vendors, may be too prescriptive and overlooks the reluctance towards discretionary spending due to low visibility on the economy’s prospects. Eligible employees may find the scheme complex and too expensive to avail. One hopes the government has more in its quiver to expedite recovery. Waiting too long for the pandemic to ease before loosening the purse strings further could extend the pain. The focus should not just be on conjuring a trickle-down stimulus from those with their jobs and savings intact but also on relief measures for those without. Even the IMF has been urging countries to spend now to diminish the damage. Avoiding spending now to maintain fiscal discipline and prevent a rating downgrade seems sensible, but if the underlying edifices of the country’s growth story crumble in the process, a future downgrade will become inevitable.

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Hope you got some new words to learn. Are you liking this series of Editorials’ Difficult Words? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. . Have a look at the previously published similar articles and let us know in the comment below if you have any suggestion for us. Also, download Free PDF of all the Hindu Editorials word-meanings published in the months of March, April, May, June, July, August & September 2020 here.


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