13 April 2024 : Daily Answer Writing

Q1) Though vital of its own accord, economic growth is but a brick in the edifice of inclusive growth. Comment.

(150 Words/10 Marks)

Inclusive growth, as per OECD, is the economic growth that is evenly distributed across all sections and regions. It creates opportunities for all, livelihood for the marginalized sections and access to basic services such as health and education.

One of the saptarishis in the budget 2023, inclusive growth includes following dimensions:

  1. Financial Inclusion: Inexpensive access to financial services; enables social mobility and financial empowerment.

E.g., Mahila Samman Certificates announced in budget 2023.

  1. Expanding the paradigm of good-governance to the last mile.

E.g., development of 500 Aspirational Blocks.

  1. Social Justice: Development of historically marginalized sections such as a SCs, STs, women, transgender etc.

E.g., PM PVTG Development mission.

  1. Skill Development for capitalizing on the demographic dividend of the country.

E.g., Skill India Digital Platform announces in budget 2023-2024.

 

Economic growth is a vital component of inclusive growth as:

  1. Employment-intensive sectors increase livelihood opportunities for the poor. Formal-sector employment creates skill mobility which enables a virtuous cycle of growth in productivity, incomes, savings and human capital.
  2. It improves state-capacity for welfare through more fiscal resources. Improvements in health indicators like IMR, MMR, life-expectancy at birth etc. happen.

E.g., As per WHO’s India Health System Review Report, life expectancy in India improved from 47.7 years (1970) to 69.6 years (2020).

  1. Female empowerment: Economic growth creates job opportunities for women.

E.g., in IT, textile and mobile manufacturing sectors.

  1. Economic growth leads to urbanization, which overcomes traditional social disabilities of caste and gender.

E.g., relative anonymity and economic considerations make it difficult to exclude.

 

Though important, economic growth is a brick in the edifice of inclusive growth:

  1. Social barriers to inclusion like caste, gender, religion etc. are not sufficiently addressed.

E.g., LFPR (Labor-force Participation Rate) of women (18.6%) in India is one-third of that for men (55.6%).

  1. Economic growth alone cannot provide public goods like education, health etc.

E.g., India still has over 304 million illiterates.

  1. Equitable income distribution remains a challenge.

As per Oxfam report, India’s richest 1% own more than four-times the wealth of the lowest 70% population.

  1. Job-less growth creates issues like under-employment, disguised employment, over-stressed agriculture, regional imbalance etc.

E.g., according to CMIE, unemployment rate was 7.83% in April 2022.

  1. Employment-elasticity of growth is decreasing due to automation and technological changes.

E.g., production of one ton steel requires much fewer workers today than two decades ago.

Inclusive growth cannot be completely accounted for by economic growth alone. The state’s welfare role is required for provision of public goods and affirmative action for the marginalized sections. There is also need to make economic growth more inclusive through opportunities in sectors like agriculture, employment-intensive growth etc. Growth based on freedom, dignity and equity is what we require.

 

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