Economic policies pro-poor: PM

Economic policies pro-poor: PM

Average growth rate at 8.5% in 2009-10

Economic policies pro-poor: PM

Manmohan singhOn the contrary, the percentage of population below the poverty line has continued to decline after the reforms in the economic sector.

“Some argued that the new policies would make the rich richer and the poor poorer and the percentage of population below the poverty line would increase. However, based on available facts we can make the claim that there is no evidence that the new economic policies have had an adverse effect on the poor. The percentage of population below the poverty line has certainly not increased. In fact, it has continued to decline after the economic reforms at least at the same rate as it did before,” the prime minister said while addressing as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day 92nd annual conference of the Indian Economic Association (IEA) Iat KIIT University here.

Singh, however, agreed that what had been achieved was not enough. Much more needed to be done to ensure more faster decline in the percentage of people below the poverty line.

Creating job oppurtunity

“There is no doubt in my view that poverty remains a major challenge. Our poor are still too poor and we need to do much more to improve their standard of living. To this end, the economy has to grow fast enough to create new job opportunities at a rate faster than the labour force,” he said.

The goal of his government was inclusive growth and this had been explicitly enshrined in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.  In this context, the Prime Minister claimed that the average growth rate since his government took over in 2004-05 and 2009-10 would be 8.5 per cent. 

The economist prime minister also rejected the views of those who had claimed that the reforms in the economy would lead to balance of payments crisis.

“We have not had a balance of payments crisis since 1991. This is surely a major empirical refutation of the doubts and fears of those who felt that the complex import controls which existed earlier were necessary to manage the balance of payments and that opening the economy was inviting disaster on the balance of payments front,” he said.

Singh, a life member and former president of IEA, also spoke on the challenges posed by issues like climate change and its impact on sustainable development and appealed his colleagues in the association to have “stimulating debates” on these issues.