Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has once again raised questions about the policies and claims of the Indian government. Speaking at YouTuber Akash Banerjee’s ‘The Deshbhakt’ channel podcast, Raghuram Rajan said, 'Parts of the Indian economy are first world', and the uneven development poses a significant challenge for the country, emphasizing the need to focus more on bridging this gap before aspiring to become a developed nation by 2047.
He mentioned that within India's development landscape, certain regions like Noida or Gurgaon are functioning within a first-world economy whereas other parts of India resembles developmental disparities akin to regions in third-world countries or sub-Saharan Africa, where certain areas continue to lack adequate development and progress.
Per Capita Income Target by 2047
Rajan's comments comes amid Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary's assertion that India aims to achieve a US dollar 5 trillion economy, evolving into an advanced economy by 2047. Chaudhary stated this alignment with the country's aspirations during the 'Amrit Kaal.' The government reported India's GDP reaching US dollar 3.7 trillion by the end of the fiscal year 2022-23.
In the podcast, Rajan expressed concerns regarding the target of US dollar 10,000 per capita income by 2047. He mentioned that currently, India's per capita income stands at US dollar 2,500, which should categorize it within the lower middle-income bracket. He emphasized the need for India to think differently from other countries regarding the path to development, indicating that India, cannot necessarily progress by following the trajectory of Europe or America.
Issue of malnutrition
Addressing the issue of malnutrition, Rajan emphasized the importance of acknowledging the problem. He stressed the need for collective efforts to overcome economic inequalities.
Discussing malnutrition, Rajan noted, "As a nation, we have recognized our poor performance in addressing malnutrition. We should confront it openly and tackle it with a mission-oriented approach. Let's commit to measurable goals, aiming to significantly reduce malnutrition every year until it's completely eradicated within the next five years. This is a fixable problem that requires concerted efforts."
He also pointed out the malnutrition rates across regions, underscoring Kerala's 6 per cent rate as opposed to parts of Bihar and Jharkhand where it exceeds 35 per cent. This highlights the significant socio-economic divergence within India.
There's an opportunity to learn from successful models within the country itself. Comparatively, the OECD levels stand at 6 per cent, he stated.