'Economic growth is not true development'

Govt doles out subsidies to business houses but fails to contain rise in price, says CPM leader

'Economic growth is not true development'

 A nation’s economic growth should not be equated with its overall development, said Rajya Sabha member and CPM politburo member Sitaram Yechury.

A country can be called truly developed only when it shows signs of progress in all sectors and is oriented towards people, he added.

He was speaking after inaugurating a two-day State-level seminar organised by the Kolar Jilla Samagra Abhivriddhigagi Janapara Vedike in the City on Sunday.

“We have reached such a stage that we liken the progress of the rich in the country as the growth of the nation. While the rich are growing richer by the day, the poor are descending to abysmal levels of penury and degradation. The ground is now ripe for agitation. If the agitation is well channelled, it will pave the way for a better and egalitarian India,” he said.

The Union government which provides subsidy to the tune of Rs 5,28,000 crore in its budget to business groups, shrugs its shoulders while providing the same to essential commodities,” added Yechury.

Even as a greater majority of our people go hungry everyday, nearly 5,500 tonnes of foodgrains rot in godowns. Moreover, the Union government spends Rs 20,000 crore to protect the godowns, the CPM leader highlighted.

Repeated pleas to the Centre to distribute foodgrains to the poor before it rots have born no fruition, he said.

Although the country is abundant in natural resources, its ineffective utilisation is thwarting the country’s growth, he added.

On the 2G Spectrum scam, Yechury said even half the amount involved in the scam would have been enough to provide free primary education to all children in the country.

Social justice

Also addressing the seminar, T R Chandrashekar of Hampi Kannada University said: “The concept of social justice is a broad one. By narrowing it to mere availing of reservations in jobs and educational institutions we are only hurting the larger scheme of things.
“Providing basic facilities and creating congenial environs will go a long way in ensuring social justice and equality to the oppressed in our society.”

It is the responsibility of the government to empower the citizenry to the extent that they can fulfill their own demands, he added.

“The benefits of country’s buoyant economy should trickle down to each and everyone in the society. Only then can a nation be called truly developed,” said Chandrashekar.
Also speaking on the occasion, CPM State Secretary G V Sri Rama Reddy said: “Even after 66 years of independence, the purchasing power of the poor remain low. It looks as if all policies are designed to enable the rich and the powerful to loot the country’s immense wealth.”

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