Dr. Subramanian Swamy who was elected to the Rajya Sabha recently by the BJP gave an enlightening talk in the Capital on “India in Global Economy”. The program was organized by the Delhi Study Group (a socio-political-cultural NGO) led by President Vijay Jolly, Ex. Delhi MLA who in his welcome speech praised the fiscal policies of Prime Minister Modi during its 24 months of NDA rule in India. Dr. Swamy is a politician (a 6 time Member of Parliament) and economist and now again a Rajya Sabha MP. He was the President of the Janata Party until he merged on with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He has served as a member of the Planning Commission of India and was a Cabinet Minister in the short-lived Chandra Shekhar government. Dr. Swamy attended Hindu College, University of Delhi, from where he earned his Masters Honours degree in Mathematics. He then took his master’s degree in Statistics from the Indian? Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He then went to study at Harvard University, where he received a PhD in Economics in 1965. In 1963, while he was a doctoral student at Harvard, he worked at the United Nations Secretariat in New York as an Assistant Economic Affairs Officer. He subsequently worked as a resident tutor at Lowell House at Harvard university.? His knowledge, expertise and experience in the economic, legal and educational fields along with his oratory skills have endeared him to audiences.? He often makes free, frank, fearless remarks and supports it with evidence without flaws. “India in Global Economy ” was the topic of the day. The program was attended by diplomats, journalists, bureaucrats and people from various walks of Life. He spoke eloquently as always. “India is the third largest GDP in the World and the second largest in population-the second largest GDP Country is China and the first largest is the United States. ” Dr. Swamy went on to elaborate “There are 2 ways for India to participate in the global economy.
One way is the way the Chinese have-they have skilled, cheap labor so they took semi-processed goods from east Asia and added value to it, processed it and sold it to Europe and America. Earlier the East Asian countries like Taiwan, North Korea, Japan etc. used to directly export to the United states and Europe but their laborbecame expensive so they were looking for a “labor cheap country” and China was ready. So if we look at it China has a deficit with east Asia and a huge profit with Europe and America. That is how China’s economic growth has propelled.? One of India’s biggest strength is our Agriculture. Even today our agricultural products are the cheapest in the world. Rice, wheat, fruits, vegetables are all very cheap compared to international market prices. Why don’t we export all this? because of lack of infrastructure. We need to have good packaging and see that agricultural produce is packed hygienically then the transportation, freight and all this has to be very efficiently done. We lack infrastructure for all this. We produce in one acre of land? only 1/6th that of Japan -1 Indian cow produces only 200 liters of milk per year but 1 Israeli cow produces 1000 liters of milk per year. The plus with India is that India can do agriculture all 12 months of the year. America, Europe, China all have snowfall 5 months of the year but this country is god-gifted where we can produce all 12 months and grow 3 crops a Year.?120 million hectares are agricultural land – the largest in the world and on top of that we have the labor force which is young. 50% of our population is below the age of 20. But what is going to transform India is not more capital or more labor but the real thing we need in our country- and that is the lesson of economics- is innovation and how to overcome obstacles. So if one were to say what is the truth about India -it is this enormous potential and this enormous legacy that we were one of the most developed countries once upon a time. The average income of people from India abroad is more than the average American/ Japanese/South Korean and so on, because our professionals take to work “like ducks to water” and they are most sought after today. Google, Microsoft etc. now have Indian as their heads. So this huge human potential needs to be exploited and exploited and utilizedefficiently.” Sound economic perceptions and advice?perhaps- is anyone listening?
(Sheila Chaman specializes in Media, Communication and Social service)