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Mumbai: Rising inequality among different classes can’t go on for long, says Pranab Mukherjee


mumbai, former president of india, pranab mukherjee, rising inequality, jobless growth, indian situation

Mumbai: India has achieved rapid growth over years but that has not always reflected very well in employment generation. Former president Pranab Mukherjee who was in the city added that a jobless growth is no growth in Indian situation. While delivering 7th M Visvesvaraya Memorial Lecture at WTC, Mukherjee said, “India has achieved spectacular progress in the last couple of decades with sustained economic growth of around 6-8% annually.”

He stressed that the growth has to be inclusive. “There is a rising inequality among the different classes of the society which cannot go on for a long period.” Citing National sample survey organisation, he said that top 10% of the population owns 61.51% of the assets while the bottom 50% has a share of only 4.77 of the assets. He also mentioned about World Inequality report which states that top 10 per cent of population holds 54.2% of national income share.

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“This gap is huge and should be unacceptable,” pointed Mukherjee. He claimed that the trickle-down theory has failed and the huge inequality is the proof. Since 2003 till 2018, Indian economy has been growing at 7.6%. He added India maintained that growth despite the Lehman brothers’ crisis. Talking about the taxation system of India, Mukherjee said that widening the tax net and rationalising it with an aim to tap hitherto untaxed sectors, is one of the steps to take India forward. He felt that GST has brought a sea change in the tax system in India but still there are loopholes that can be addressed.

India, is diversifying from agro-based to manufacturing and service-based economy, the success of this diversification is highly dependent on the availability of jobs and quality of the labour force, he added. India generates over 3,30, 861 MW of power, produces 90 million tonnes of steel, 280 million tonnes of cement, 26 million metre tonnes of sugar and lead the world in liquid milk. At the memorial lecture on ‘India’s Journey towards Inclusive Growth’ which was delivered by Mukherjee, WTCA Award of Honour was given to Ratan N Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts. Also present on the occasion was Kamal Morarka, Chairman, WTC Mumbai; Pranab Mukherjee, Former President and Vijay Kalantri, VC, WTC Mumbai.