Down to Earth - - LETTERS -

fails to rep­re­sent a clearer pic­ture of so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.


GDP can­not be a good in­di­ca­tor of growth be­cause a coun­try's econ­omy is de­pen­dent on mul­ti­di­men­sional is­sues, that too at dif­fer­ent lev­els. At present, in­dices like Gen­uine Progress In­di­ca­tor ( GPI) can ex­plain growth with more pre­ci­sion than GDP. But we can­not take those in­dices for granted as their re­la­tion with a coun­try's con­stantly chang­ing econ­omy is dy­namic in na­ture.


GDP is an in­ac­cu­rate in­di­ca­tor of a coun­try's growth. This is due to a num­ber of rea­sons. One, GDP does not take non-mon­e­tised ac­tiv­i­ties into ac­count. Two, it does not in­cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age caused due to eco­nomic growth. Three, it does not ac­count for in­equal­i­ties, which are a mea­sure of con­cern in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries like In­dia. Lastly, it does not pro­vide a road map for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.


GDP is an eco­nomic mea­sure of com­modi­ties that are mea­sur­able. How­ever, it is not com­pre­hen­sive. It does not eval­u­ate works, such as do­mes­tic chores per­formed by women, nor does it take a per­son's hap­pi­ness or sat­is­fac­tion into ac­count. GDP also does not in­clude the en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age caused due to eco­nomic growth. As a res­i­dent of Ut­tarak­hand, I be­lieve that ecol­ogy and hu­man be­hav­iour should be in­cluded in GDP es­ti­ma­tion.


been mis­in­ter­preted and mis­used for a long time by our coun­try's rulers. We should rather use sus­tain­able growth which in­cludes all rel­e­vant so­cio-en­vi­ron­men­tal-eco­nomic as­pects to mea­sure the progress of a na­tion. GDP does not stand for sus­tain­able growth. In­dia should bravely em­brace over­all de­vel­op­ment rather than just go­ing for blind and rapid ur­ban­i­sa­tion.


GDP is not an ac­cu­rate mea­sure of our coun­try's growth. If it was, then most In­dian stu­dents would not be get­ting low-salary jobs af­ter com­plet­ing their stud­ies. And In­dia's farm­ers would not be killing them­selves in large num­bers.


Con­cepts like GDP only help the rich be­come richer and the poor be­come poorer. In the process of manag­ing the econ­omy through GDP, wealth gets con­cen­trated in a few hands which make it prac­ti­cally of no use in na­tion­build­ing. The same is true for global wealth. Most of it to­day is in the hands of a tiny mi­nor­ity. GDP is a sys­tem that makes the poor per­son spend more than half of his/her in­come on is­sues that have lit­tle to do with the progress and de­vel­op­ment of his/her fam­ily. The govern­ment must look at a sub­sti­tute in­dex that truly re­flects de­vel­op­ment.


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