The threat of a federal government shutdown looms largely over the Indian economy. As negotiations between political parties reach a deadlock in the United States, non-essential services are at risk of closure and millions of federal employees, including members of the military, may not receive their paychecks. What does this mean for the economy, who will be most affected, and what could possibly be the next course of action?
During a government shutdown, all operations deemed "non-essential" are halted. These include federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), among others. However, essential services like air traffic control and food inspections continue to function.
According to the Congressional Research Service, a government shutdown will force about 800,000 federal workers to go on unpaid leave. Moreover, around 1.3 million will be required to work without immediate pay.
But who bears the brunt of this shutdown? Unfortunately, the impact is widespread, affecting numerous sectors and individuals. Federal employees who live paycheck to paycheck may face financial hardships. Small businesses relying on federal loans could experience delays. Even tourists could be affected if national parks and museums are closed.
The military, being a crucial sector, will also face the heat. While active-duty military personnel are expected to continue working, their pay might be delayed until the shutdown ends. This could potentially affect around 1.3 million active-duty troops, according to the Defense Manpower Data Center.
The Indian economy, closely intertwined with the US, will not remain unaffected. A report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies suggests that a prolonged US government shutdown could slow global economic growth, thereby affecting India as well.
So, what's next? The onus of resolving this crisis lies with the US lawmakers. They need to agree on a budget or a continuing resolution to fund the government. Until then, the uncertainty continues, causing potential disruptions locally and internationally.
As the world watches closely, the efficiency and agility of the US political system are put to the test. The outcome of this political impasse carries global implications and could set the tone for international economic trends in the near future.