Reinventing Inclusive Growth in India

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The other day I attended a talk by an economist. He discussed at length the past, present and future of Indian economy. He was of the view that the economic growth of India can be meaningful only if its benefits reach the common man.

Unfortunately this is not what is happening. Wealth is accumulating with a handful of Indians and few Indians are prospering. The overall state of Indian economy is pathetic and future not very bright as income generation is not out of productive activities and common man’s participation in economic growth is negligible due to poor infrastructure.

This, in addition to various other factors, is primarily because of the fact that the policy makers have lost connection with the masses. They no longer belong to the masses. Majority of the Parliamentarians today are multi-millionaires who have no concern for the problems of the common man, the requirements of the farm sector and the importance of infrastructure in all parts of the country. The economic growth of a country can be independent of the global economic scenario only if it is inclusive. This alone can generate sufficient local demand which will keep the wheel of growth moving. With the size of population that our country has, this may not be a big problem if the people at large have money.

India undoubtedly possesses talent and skills matching the best in the world. But its reach, again, is limited. Limited to metros and big cities. Limited to certain pockets of wealth generation. Limited to areas where conveniences and amenities are available. While, with globalisation, competitive spirit and skills have improved, the divide between haves and have-nots has also widened. While, with newer means of communication, awareness of what is happening thousands of miles away has improved, we have no clue about what transpires a few kilometres from our homes.

Just a few years ago, we used to wonder if we would ever have educationally qualified people as our policy makers....
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