Good economic growth figures mask the real problem, says Tharoor

KOCHI: At the 41st annual management convention of the Kerala Management Association (KMA), which began at the Grand Hyatt Bolgatty Convention Center here on Thursday, mortgage finance pioneer Deepak Parekh painted a rosy picture of the Indian economy while Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, MP, countered the Reality on site was different.

Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Life Insurance, delivered the inaugural address at the two-day meeting and said the Indian economy is 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 growth estimate is 7.6%. That’s a lot more than last year,” he said. He explained how the government has been able to contain inflation through many policy changes, but added that food inflation remains higher in India. “In the food basket, pulses and vegetables recorded a sharp increase of 20% compared to last year,” he said.

However, Tharoor countered Parekh's statements: “You have to look beyond the facade to understand the reality on the ground.” According to the Congressman, the way per capita income is calculated is very complicated. He indirectly suggested that the growth in per capita income in India was mainly due to the rise of large companies like those controlled by (Mukesh) Ambani and Adani. Tharoor said growth at the macro level has not been reflected in the income of ordinary Indians, he added. “This good news obscures the persistence of the problem that requires our attention.”