In the last three-four years, it has become a fashion to speak or write about Inclusive Growth in India. Sixty years of democracy and eleven Five Year Plans yet single digit GDP and double digit inflation! It took at least thirteen years to push the Women's Reservation Bill in Rajya Sabha, and we are eagerly waiting to see the scene in Lok Sabha. UPA wants to present this after Union Budget and Nuclear Bill or Foreign Universities Bill are all cleared in Parliament. All this when we had Woman Chief Ministers, Prime Minister, CEOs, Scientists, LS and Legislative Speakers, Ministers, Sportspersons, Teachers, Lawers, Social Workers, Politicians and so on. What is inclusive growth then? Why follow sectorial approach - be it geographical or regional, gender or caste and economic class, etc., etc., etc.
When any reforms or developmental plans are thought of, or customer service is evaluated, it is the Banking System that is targetted first. Of course, they have been serving the countrymen in so many ways. We have diverse varieties of Banks - Public, Private, Regional Rural, Foreign, Local Area and Cooperative Banks. Although all these banks have been spreading into remote corners of the country even without adequate infrastructural / communication / transportation facilities in rural and semi-urban areas, Financial Inclusion has almost thrust on them in last four years. Rural financing is easier but Rural Development is a big agenda item.
TOI reports today that globally 1.1 billion people still have no access to toilets, with India alone contributing 638 million to the figure. Just 11 countries, that incudes India, are home to 81% of such people. The other nations include China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan and Brazil. A WHO-UNICEF report states that India has the world no. 1 tag in this context. It is time for the GOI and the planners / policy makers to focus on such basic necessities like housing, potable drinking water, transportation, sanitation, health and veterinary services, communication, etc instead of pressuring the banks to merely open bank accounts, which they are any way doing on an on-going basis. UPA Government should seriously review its AAM AADMI welfare policy in the remaining years of its rule and prove themselves. SHGs and NGOs should be encouraged to work on these areas too instead of limiting to the area of financing. It is time that the rulers think seriously also about the increasing suicides by farmers. JAI HO & CHAK DE INDIA.