Good economic growth numbers disguise real problem, says Tharoor

Detailing how the government was able to rein in inflation through many policy changes, he, however, added that the food inflation continues to be higher in India.
MP Shashi Tharoor and Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC Life Insurance Company, interacting at the KMA annual meet in Kochi.
MP Shashi Tharoor and Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC Life Insurance Company, interacting at the KMA annual meet in Kochi.(Photo | A Sanesh, EPS)

KOCHI : Kerala Management Association’s (KMA) 41st annual management convention which began at the Grand Hyatt Bolgatty Convention Centre here on Thursday, saw mortgage finance pioneer Deepak Parekh painting a rosy picture of the Indian economy with Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, MP, countering it saying the ground reality was different.

Giving the inaugural address at the two-day meet, Parekh, chairman of HDFC Life Insurance, said the Indian economy was booming due to various steps and initiatives taken by the Union government.

According to him, the country’s GDP has increased over the years. “As a country, India continues to be the fastest-growing economy. The official estimate of the growth has been pegged at 7.6%. This is much higher than last year’s,” he said. Detailing how the government was able to rein in inflation through many policy changes, he, however, added that the food inflation continues to be higher in India. “Within the food basket, pulses and vegetables have seen a sharp year-on-year increase of 20%,” he said.

However, countering Parekh’s statements, Tharoor said, “One needs to look beyond the facade to understand the ground reality.” According to the Congress MP, the manner in which the per capita income is calculated makes it very convoluted. He indirectly implied that growth in India’s per capita income is mainly due to rise in big businesses like those controlled by (Mukesh) Ambani and Adani. Tharoor said the macro-level growth has not been reflected in the incomes of ordinary Indians, he added. “These good news numbers do disguise the persistence of the problem that requires our attention.”

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