The economic growth rate has been falling continuously while the consumer price inflation, current account deficit in the external sector and fiscal deficit in the Budget remain at high levels. The lack of confidence in the Indian economy is manifested by the sudden and sharp decline in the value of the rupee vis-a-vis the dollar in spite of the steps taken by the government and the Reserve Bank of India. The stock markets are also fluctuating wildly reflecting the uncertainty in the minds of the investors— both Indian and foreign. The policy-makers appear to be helpless.
The government has tried to talk the markets up but with little effect. The PM, Finance Minister, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and Economic Advisor to the PM have all made pronouncements that the economic recovery is around the corner. These predictions over the last two years have been belied as the data in the Table shows. The rate of growth has fallen quarter after quarter since the fourth quarter of 2010-11.
It is true that the rate of growth is still good compared both to that of most other countries in the world or to the projections by the IMF (and others) of the expected rate of growth of the world economy. This growth is also comparable to India’s historical growth rate since independence. However, the current growth path is not comparable with that prior to 1991 because that was not creating inequality and unemployment which the current marginalising growth has been doing.
Post-1991, growth has been fuelled by the private corporate sector with highly capital intensive technology which does not generate much employment and also increases inequality in the economy. Most of the gains have been cornered by a few leaving little to trickle down to others. This is especially true for the marginalised sections like the unorganised sectors and especially the agricultural sector which still deploys more than half of the work force. The impact of the slowdown in the growth rate is that what trickles down becomes even less and those at the bottom of the pyramid suffer even more.
Holder's travel companions Washington Post Holder, as we have written, had a busy travel schedule in the summer of 2012, visiting, among other places, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, Denmark, Germany, Guam, Malaysia, and Singapore.
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