Lord Meghnad Desai, world-renowned economist and Labour peer, on Thursday highlighted the plight of the Bihari diaspora during the Covid-induced lockdown when they had to literally walk for thousands of kilometers to their constituencies in Bihar so that they could sustain themselves by qualifying for schemes like MNREGA. He made this view online through zoom at a two day workshop in Patna.
A two-day workshop on “Socio Economic Perspectives for India’s Next few decades” was organised by the city based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) here on Thursday.
“Why can’t we devise an effective system for such migrants to ameliorate their condition? He pleaded. Also, society should find money for poor unpaid women to compensate for the enormous amount of money wasted in Non-Performing Assets of banks,” Lord Desai said.
Tripurari Sharan, state Information Commissioner Bihar government stated that the government needs to reorient its policies after Covid.
Professor Sanjay Reddy, Chair, Department of Economics, New School for Social Research, New York defined inclusive development as a term which asks whether there have been gains after growth for all. To achieve inclusiveness, India should go in for a democratized market economy which enables all citizens to be participants, he opined.
He pointed out that India has one of the starkest regional inequalities in the world. For instance, Maharashtra has four and half times the per-capita income of Bihar today. In 1960, it was double that of Bihar. But non-income deprivation like child mortality and women empowerment has declined between 2005 and 2015, he asserted.
Professor Ajit Sinha of aaThapar School of Liberal Arts and Science, Patiala held out that 10 percent of the total capital in the country can be socialized to guarantee a universal basic income. This could solve the problem of lack of income due to unemployment arising out of automation.
Professor G Omkarnath former Professor Hyderabad university lamented the fact that by the 70s, India had degenerated into an impossible welfare state. Modernization of traditional craft industry had been neglected since independence, he said.
Professor Romar Correa, former RBI professor of Monetary Economy, university of Mumbai dwelt upon contentious issues which arise from the idea of digitalization of money instead of cash.
Professor Prem Chandravarkar of Bangalore praised cities for giving one freedom as they offer anonymity, unlike villages. So, how we manage the city is going to determine whether we sink or swim in this century, he said.
Dr. Champak Rajagopal former director of Entrepreneurship and Partnerships Lab Bangalore pointed out that in the post-liberalization era, cities were propelled to become competitive by making grants conditional and the state governments accountable.
Prof Prabhat P Ghosh of ADRI while making remarks said that although it is very difficult to talk about the future. He said that the papers presented in the workshop had been prepared in a very innovative framework.