Monday, 1 August 2016

High economic growth of 7.5% for 12 years, failed to change people's lives

Sunday, July 24, 2016 - 14:32

India's average economic growth rate of 7.5 percent in the last 12 years has failed to bring about any significant improvement in the quality of life of the common people, noted development economist Jean Dreze* said.

"The Indian economy has been growing at around 7.5 percent per year for the last twelve years, with relatively small deviations up or down from this average.

"...Few countries have grown so fast for so long with such limited results in terms of widely-shared improvements in the quality of life," Dreze told PTI in an interview.

Dreze, a former member of UPA's National Advisory Council and now a visiting professor at the department of economics, Ranchi University, said the growth rates of the last two years are in line with this trajectory.

"This is an achievement of sorts since the world economy is not doing particularly well at this time," he said.

Dreze, who has done extensive work in India on issues like hunger, famine, and the NREGA said: "The main issue is not to raise the growth rate further, which may or may not be possible, but to ensure that growth is associated with rapid improvements in people's living conditions."

Indian economy grew at 7.6 percent in 2015-16.

*Jean Dr├Ęze (born 1959) is a Belgian-born Indian development economist who has been influential in the economic policy making of his country. His work in India include issues like hunger, famine, gender inequality, child health and education, and the NREGA. He had conceptualized and drafted the first version of the NREGA. 

His co-authors include Nobel laureate in economics Amartya Sen, with whom he has written on famine, Nicholas Stern, with whom he has written on policy reform when market prices are distorted and Nobel laureate in economics Angus Deaton. He is currently an honorary Professor at the Delhi School of Economics, and Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics, Ranchi University. He was a member of the National Advisory Council of India in both first and second term.

My View:
India's high economic growth of 7.5%++ for continuously 12 years in a row (while world economy is struggling and China, Russia, Euro Zone are facing severe problems) and no change or deterioration in common man's life style makes me wonder about the veracity of the figures published by Govt of India from time to time.


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