Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Womens Day: Building a digitally equal world
access_time 8 March 2023 4:38 AM GMT
Women must arise now and embrace equity
access_time 7 March 2023 10:52 AM GMT
The criminal case against Vladimir Putin
access_time 27 Feb 2023 9:46 AM GMT
Censorship that stifles free speech
access_time 24 Feb 2023 7:02 AM GMT
Large economy, poor people

Image for representation only

In terms of size of the economy, India now stands fifth in the world. Up from the 11th rank a decade ago, we have now overtaken Britain to rise to the fifth place. India's gross domestic product (GDP) reached $85.47 billion by March, surpassing Britain's GDP. Another much-celebrated figure is that of Indian businessman Gautam Adani, who has become the second richest person in the world. These figures are corroborated by Bloomberg and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But there are other figures that are equally authentic and that touch ordinary Indians more directly. According to a new report by the World Bank, 5.6 crore Indians were pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. Not only that, Indians constituted 80 percent of those so pushed into extreme poverty worldwide the same year. For several years now, we have been showing a decline in many indicators that affect the population as a whole, such as the global hunger index, water quality index, air quality index, happiness index, etc. Fitch Ratings, a financial research firm, predicts that even the current GDP growth rate will decrease. They had forecast 7.8 per cent growth in June and have now lowered it to 7 per cent. The World Bank also forecasts lower growth rate. The rate they had predicted earlier of 8.7 per cent was reduced to eight in April and this month to 6.5 per cent. These numbers are also reflected in the daily lives of ordinary people in a worrisome manner. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, one-fourth of those who commit suicide in the country are poor people who work for daily wages. This proliferation of people whose life gets blocked should worry us. Youth unemployment has doubled in the past five years to 42 percent.

These figures give a glimpse of the contrast between the 'rich' India and the India of the poor - the picture of starving people suffocating under regimes controlled by billionaires, as in many other countries. On the one hand. the beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme are getting excluded from it. And on the other, billionaires get liberal freebies and tax exemptions. The extra income earned by India's 11 super-rich during the Covid-19 years alone will suffice to keep the job guarantee scheme going for ten years. This figure came in the annual report published by Oxfam earlier this year. We have governments that see social welfare schemes as 'subsidies' and to be dispensed with. Even the Prime Minister criticizes the 'culture of freebies'. But the concessions and freebies given to the super rich are deemed totally acceptable. As economist Swaminathan Iyer points out, the Vedanta company's silicon fabrication plant in Gujarat is being subsidized to the tune of Rs 80,000 crore, free land by the state government, etc. from the public exchequer; The freebies given to this single institution are more than the annual budget of the Employment Guarantee Scheme (Rs 73,000 crore). The jobs created by Silicon Project are limited. As another economist Rathin Roy said, "Bangladesh as a country is much poorer than India, but its citizens are richer", because its per capita income is higher than here.

If ordinary people are starving in the fifth largest economy, it calls for a fundamental correction. The 'trickle down' effect theory put forward by the rich to justify an exploitative economy (the idea that when the rich have more money it will naturally trickle down to the people below) has already been proven wrong. Experience shows that as the gap between the rich and the poor widens, the fall in the purchasing power of the poor weakens the overall economy. In short, the monopolization of the economy makes the entire country poorer. The chief remedy needed is to reduce inequality. Economists point out that not only should exemptions for the super-rich be stopped, but they should be taxed at a higher rate in proportion to their financial capacity. Some countries have already started thinking this way. GDP and list of the richest are not the sign of progress. India must achieve real progress by reducing inequality and empowering the poor

Show Full Article
TAGS:Indian economy 5th largest in world pushed UK below Adani world's second richest GDP growth projections lowered 
Next Story