I was amused to read our Tourism Minister’s prescription for those who have burnt their fingers in the global meltdown.

Coming to terms with a job loss or have a home loan you can’t pay? Come to India to find peace. This is tourism minister Ambika Soni’s prescription for those who have burnt their fingers in the global meltdown.

Speaking in a lighter vein, Soni said, “When things look down…in financial crisis, people turn to God.”

I got to thinking that this is well and good for people outside India. But what about those of us in India who are victims of the recession? Where will we go? We are already in India, so we cannot come to India as the Hon. Minister suggests. We will have to find another country to go to for solace!

Therefore I was very relieved to read our Hon. Finance Minister’s assertion that India does not face a recession.

India is nowhere near recession,” Chidambaram said at the annual Economic Editors’ Conference in New Delhi.

“Recession means two successive quarters of contraction. We are nowhere near recession,” he said.

While the Finance Minister advises us to “banish thoughts of recession“, we are painfully aware that the reality doesn’t seem so rosy!

Easy credit is taking its toll on Indian borrowers. The amount of outstanding loans on credit cards is rising phenomenally. In New Delhi alone, courts are dealing with about 400,000 cases of bounced cheques, mostly dishonoured payments for credit card purchases and loans, a national daily says.

Indian employees in the IT sector have learned to fear the phrase ‘pink slip’. Instead of changing job every few months, IT employees are hanging on to the jobs they have.

Then there recently was the well publicised layoff drama in Jet Airways. Other airlines are pushing salary cuts.

Dunlop India Ltd on Monday (Nov. 17) asked all 1,171 permanent employees at its Sahagunj unit and 917 staffers at Ambattur “not to report for work” from Tuesday for an indefinite period.

This is placement season in colleges. But there is a decrease in the number of companies coming to participate in the placement proceedings. And those that have come, are hiring less students.

But no, there is no recession in India. For hasn’t the Finance Minister said so?