Kannan, K. P.
January 2007
Indian Journal of Labour Economics;Jan-Mar2007, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p17
Academic Journal
Despite the high growth performance of the Indian economy in recent years, the continuing high incidence of poverty and other forms of deprivation as well as a slowdown in agriculture resulting in despair and the death of farmers has prompted the planners in India to advocate 'inclusive growth'. This paper is a critique of the inclusive growth articulated by the Indian Planning Commission in its Approach Paper to the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12). Despite the rhetoric of inclusive growth, the paper notes that the overbearing emphasis in the Approach Paper is to attain a higher growth rate (9 per cent and above). The running themes of the Approach Paper such as the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), greater incentives for foreign direct investment (FDI), removal of the urban land ceiling, relaxation of labour laws, and absence of any commitment to provide social security and related protection for a semblance of decent work conditions for those in the unorganised sector are hardly the ones which would help promote inclusion. In addition, there is no well-articulated strategy for harnessing the untapped potential of Indian agriculture to generate productive employment. Policies and programmes for reducing the wide gap between states in a whole range of economic and social indicators are also conspicuous by their absence. The paper concludes by calling for an alternative paradigm for inclusive growth and development in which the state has to play a leading role.


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