As Davos 2022 Warns of A “Darkened” Economic Climate, A Sobering Take On The Post Pandemic “Real” India — Springfields of Rejuvenation
As the who’s who of the global elite gathered in Davos for the annual talkfest, at which the “people who matter” ponder on the state of the world, a report compiled on the state of inequality in India, using governmental data, released last week should have reminded the Davos 2022 participants, that Indians who earn as little as Rs. 25,000 per month, should count themselves as “lucky” to be in the Top 10 per cent of the Income bracket in India. When all that it takes is an Rs. 25,000 monthly income, to be considered “rich” or for that matter, even middle class, one wonders as to what exactly are the rest 90% earning, more so when the official poverty rate categorizes anyone living on less than $2 a day as poor. Calculated on a monthly basis, this translates to Rs. 4,500 per month, meaning that it does not take much for them to “sink back” into near poverty when crises such as the pandemic strike.
The aforementioned report, the State of Inequality in India report by the Institute for Competitiveness found, and commissioned by The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, has been prepared mainly to understand the impact of the pandemic on the Indian populace, as far as incomes and wealth distribution are concerned. Without repeating what others have been “shouting from the rooftops” about the “rich getting richer, and the poor poorer”, it still needs to be elaborated that if the findings of this report are corroborated by other statistics, then the situation is indeed “dire” when 90% of the population are barely able to scrape through.
Davos 2022 was notable not only because the 0.1 per cent (note how it used to be 1% earlier) gathered in person after two years, but also because of the “sizable” Indian contingent, which drew pride from the media about the “new realities” of India, that is increasingly being seen as the Next Big Thing in the Global Economy. Indeed, so much so that the reputed magazine, The Economist, called this decade “India’s to lose” which is as close to a “marquee” endorsement that we can get in the Davos sweepstakes. So, how does one square the “hype” and the “reality”? More to the point, which is the “real” India and which is the “New India”…