if we take rs 60 to the minimum required for daily survival,then India will be having nearly 500 million poor people or 1 in every 2 people below poverty line.this is according to the world bank.but can someone survive with this much money?.all around our government brags about our economic growth rate and 300 million odd middle class(claim of which is highly doubtful).the growth we are experiencing is not uniform it varies from over 10%in Punjab to 3% in orissa.
we are proud about the following things
1.7%recession proof growth
2.300 million and still counting middle class
3.an evergrowing software industry
4.salaries now reaching six digits
now lets examine how true these are
1.economy growing at 7% is about the growth of the service sector and industrial sector to a lesser extend.the agricultural sector which employs the vast majority grows by a meager 2%.this means that over 70%of our population do not experience any change in their standard of living.of this 2% growth most of it occurs in the commercial crops and in lands owned by zamindars.what this implies is over65%of the people experience 0% growth .that is there is no change in their fixed incomes but sadly the general prices of goods rises due to the growth experienced by the other 30%.i don’t know whether it is right to call this DEVELOPMENT POVERTY as these 700 million or so are becoming more and more poor on a daily basis.no one cares about them,especially us, in Kerala as we do not see such abject poverty .to believe we don’t have to travel to bihar just a bus ride to karnataka is enough .thousands of them flock to various construction sites all over the country to etch a living.even here they are not treated equally for example in our region for a construction laborer different slabs of payment is there
for a malayalee man rs 200-300 or even 350
malayalee woman rs 150-200
for a person from outside the state 100-175 or maximum 200
the difference is appalling.
this 150 rs they earn here,when reaches their home will be some thing like 100 rs.that is 2800 if he gets jobs month-long,which is not possible.then the money he sends back home will be around 2000 rs p.m on an average.lets just assume that two members of a family of six or eight earns this brings the total income of the family to rs4000.with this they have to pay back the debt they have taken for failed crops ,buy agricultural tools and make a living.
i don’t know how can we brag so much about development that never reaches the majority.
2.300 million strong middle class – i think this to be just a myth in reality it will some where be between 150-200 million.here again the development is more visible among the upper middle class.the middle class in india is more debt ridden and low in savings compared to Chinese and other east asian nations.
3 ever-growing software industry is useful only for those english speaking class which can afford a quality education.here again the mass of the country is left behind
4 six or seven digit corporate salaries are shameful in a country where millions can’t meet the ends meat
as this week most of the international news channels focused on the fall of the berlin wall i came to know about a tax named SOLIDARITY TAX,payed by west germans for the upliftment of the east.why can’t we impose a solidarity tax here so that millions of our brethren who are left far behind in the economic race may be given opportunities to catch up with the rest of us.
i know the bureaucracy is flawed with corruption but still some thing is always better than nothing,as they will get something after the filtration at various levels.the tax may be imposed differently at different levels highest being at the corporate level.many may resent subsidization,but we are a society and some will have to sacrifice some thing for the needy among us.