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India is prospering but not Indians: Aiyar

Aiyar said,GDP growth rate is no index of what is happening in the country.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
December 2, 2010 10:38:26 am

Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar questioned the government’s inclusive economic growth story of India,saying “India is prospering but not Indians”.

“India is prospering,Indians are not,” he said at a function after releasing a report on social development of India published by Oxford University Press.

Aiyar cricitised the government for measuring economic growth on the basis of per capita income and Gross Domestic Product (GDP),saying that while 57 per cent of GDP is being “consumed” by about one per cent of the total population,per capita growth rate is a “wholly misleading index” of what is actually being attained in terms of progress by the people.

“GDP growth rate is no index of what is happening in our country. The per capita growth rate,derived from the GDP growth rate,is also a wholly,not inadequate,wholly misleading index of what is actually being attained in terms of progress by the people of India,” he said.

He also criticised the procedure adopted by the government to define poverty line,alleging that it is “designed to pull wool over your eyes because it gives them easy way of describing how poverty alleviation is taking place when in fact it’s hardly,barely taking place”.

He said GDP,per capita growth rates and national poverty line are the “three dangers facing the people of India”.

He said GDP has emerged as the “real enemy of the Indian people” because the pursuit of “higher and yet higher GDP growth rates means an increasing squeezing out of national resources from areas where people needed to areas which will boost growth”.

Aiyar pointed out that while the GDP growth rate has soared towards double figures “and possibily on a sustained basis”,rate of growth in agriculture of the country has remained at an average of about 1 to 2 per cent over the period of economic reforms.

“The conbsequences–that as of now approximately 57 per cent of our GDP is being consumed by about one per cent of the total of our population,that population which finds itself in the IT and IT-related services sector along with government servants,armed forces personnel ….”

He said that in manufacturing sector there is a “remarkable” record with the growth rate upto 14 -15 per cent per annum. But “curiously”,the share of labour in the organised sector is 8 per cent today,which is the same as at the start of the economic reforms process.

“Which means in relative terms we have not been able to transfer labour from agriculture and unorganised small industry into organised major industry,” he said.

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