Kerala should stop worrying about achieving self sufficiency in the food sector and start aiming at a growth rate of nine plus, said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. “Since India is a big country, it can manage the food situation of the state. Instead of pondering over food security, Kerala should aim at a growth rate better than any other state in the country and that will enhance the purchasing power of the people,” he said.
Ahluwalia told this as the closing remark of his inaugural address at the plenary session of Emerging Kerala.
All major speakers in the session stressed at the change of attitude of the state for a sustainable and inclusive growth. Gita Gopinath, prof of Economics at Harward University, wanted the state to shift its attitude from ‘anti-employer to that of a pro-employer’. She termed the high remittances to state as both a blessing and a curse.“It is a blessing as it makes a high income but results in a high cost of living and the state should strengthen the retail sector to reduce the cost of living” she opined. NASSCOM president Som Mittal said that the state could soon have a cosmopolitan culture with people from various states settling here. So emphasis should be given on English as a link language, he said.
Planning Board Vice-Chairman K M Chandrasekhar recalled the economic history of the state starting from ancient times to the modern period which witnessed inflow into tourism, and ayurvedic sectors.