Economic Disparities in India
One need not be an expert to tell if economic disparity exist in India or not. It certainly does and it is very visible. The contrasts seem to be very disturbing.
Economic disparities are the differences in financial position and purchasing power of the people, with respect to economy of the country. The imbalances in the economy due to factors like poverty, illiteracy, less education, unemployment, social backwardness and gender bias contribute to economic disparities.
India. after the economic reforms in early 1990s had opened up, then there was short period of consumption demand growth between 2002-2006, but in recent times the ‘growth driver’ is investment according to economists. The recent growth or performance has been among the best in the world. A growth of 8.6% over the past four years the economics outlook for 2007-08 prepared by the economics advisory council shows-the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2007-08 is estimated at 9 percentage. India is in a favorable situation now but there are inequalities in earning, social security, health and education. The gap between rich and poor seem to be widening in spite the good economic growth. On one side we have families with double income, good purchasing power and disposable income(they can spend in different schemes or invest).On the other side we have the poor or less skilled struggling to make both ends meet by earning less or just Rs 40 per day. Around 200 million Indians remain poor. Some of them the urban and rest of them the rural poor.
Studies and work shows that as a result of economic reforms and growth the southern and western states experienced speed in economic development compared to northern and eastern states. This led to widening gap in income and poverty. There was and still there is large scale migration in search of work and better pay. Large and medium cities are witnessing economic prosperity with concentration of investment (both by government and private sector) in education and industries. But the rural areas are experiencing ‘economic stagnation’ with no investment for better infrastructure. As a result we see crisis in agriculture sector and the shocking suicides by farmers.
The presence of caste system in backward areas worsens the problems-farmer with small land holdings suffer. Also these marginalized people are less skilled and often victims of development because they get displaced. One of the main regional problems in backward area is the naxalite problem which has slowed economic development. Whereas in the forward areas the caste system, not so prominent, the benefits of development are equally shared.
Increasing inequalities within urban area is also very disturbing. Like, in a city like Kolkata or Mumbai, there is a widening gap between educated and less educated. Small towns are experiencing stagnation. Within the urban population, majority of slum dwellers are migrants of rural areas who try to earn a living doing menial jobs which gives no social security.
Whether it is UK, USA. China or INDIA. studies concluded that wealth is in the hands of rich. Even in the corporate sector the wage sharing is low.
The main reason for this peculiarity of growth of our economy is poor human development. The growth must turn ‘inclusive’ in nature where the benefits must reach the bottom level.
The corrective measures to lessen the economic disparities are- empowerment through education, more investment in education in rural areas, better infrastructure(like roads, hospital, drinking water,transport),more resources allocation, skill development ,better health facilities, private companies or firms must come forward to set up new ventures in backward areas(some have already),invest more in agriculture and research. Also, the millionaires and billionaires of India can contribute to change the face of rural India.