What model are we talking about?

A serious debate is finding its place in different quarters of the country for some time now. The point of discussion is which model between the two propagated by Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar is better?

The answers are as divided as is the prediction of growth rate for the Fiscal year 2013-14 in various circles across the nation.

Whatever may be the choice but the underlying position is that any business or development model is good till the time it ensures increase in net profit and decrease in unemployment rate.poverty

Similarly, growth model for any nation finds acceptance among the citizens only if it makes certain that economic equality would surely be established among the residents of the country and poverty levels reduce by substantial margin.

As per the new World Bank report, India consists of around 33% of world’s poorest 1.2 billion people.

What’s the use of such growth models that find no practical sense in reducing the poverty level in the country?

The World Bank has proposed a $12 billion to $20 billion program to trim down poverty levels over 4 years in the Indian states (politically most active) of Nitsh Kumar’s Bihar (poorest state in the country for quite some time now), Raman Singh’s Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand (President’s rule), Shivaraj Singh Chauhan’s Madhya Pradesh, Naveen Patnaik’s Odisha, Ashok Gehlot’s Rajasthan and Akhilesh Yadav’s Uttar Pradesh.

Similarly, Modi’s Gujarat too doesn’t fare any better on poverty reduction front and regarding malnutrition status, its condition is more pathetic than most other states in the country.

Despite the fact that poverty rate has reduced to half in comparison to 30 years back but the situation is still grim on the ground for the nation. Although, we were successful in reducing the number of poor from 429 million in 1981 to 400 million in 2010 and the extreme poverty rate dropped from 60 % of the population to 33 % during the same period but still India accounts for greater chunk of world’s poor population than ever.

Notwithstanding the good news, India accounts for a higher proportion of the world’s poor than it used to. In 1981, we were home to 22 % of the world’s poor.

This shows the ground reality of the country that is in constant sight of the super power status. On the other hand, China was the most successful country in the respect as poverty rate fell to 12 % of the population in 2010 from 84 % in 1981 there.

Therefore, rather than debating on different models of growth that would be better suitable for the country our main should be to design and implement better policies so that the India no longer feels embarrassed to be home to world’s 1/3rd of the poorest 1.2 billion people in the next survey.

Ashish Pandey

I am a business and finance journalist who is currently employed at Financial Express and previously at Zee News. My areas of interest include business and foreign policy. You can reach me on Twitter at @ashuvirgo1984 or @eFundsPlus.

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