Skewed Wealth Distribution: Whose Fault?Even as Narendra Modi represents India at the World Economic Forum in Davos the first Indian prime minister to be there after H D Deve Gowda in 1997 Rahul Gandhi, taking a cue from a report that pointed out that just 1 percent of Indians held 73 percent of the nations wealth, has asked Modi to explain that to the august gathering in Davos.
By Sunil Garodia
It is really very easy to explain that. For, this skewed amassing of wealth by a miniscule percentage of Indians has not occurred in the last three or four years. It has been allowed systematically by Congress governments of the past through their economic policies that encouraged protectionism and monopolies through the licence-quota raj on the one hand and allowed massive leakages in public welfare programmes to create crony capitalists who siphoned out mind-boggling funds meant for the poor, obviously with appropriate kickbacks for the ruling class. In the absence of competition and fair licensing system, people with money and connections kept cornering licenses and money continued to beget money. Even in the 2G scam, though corruption has not been proved, the courts have frowned at the way licenses were issued. Nepotism and favoritism have been the hallmark of the governing style of the Congress and this, more than anything else, has resulted in both the middleclass and the poor remaining where they were even becoming worse in the face of rising inflation while the rich continuing to get richer.
Although the dismantling of the barriers and reforms were also started during the Congress regime only, it was under P V Narashima Rao and not under a member of the Gandhi family. Since then, there has been a remarkable jump in talented people starting new and successful ventures, a luxury that was not available to them before the 1990s. So, instead of needling the prime minister, Gandhi must study the economic history of India under the Congress before 1991. He will get all the answers why just 1 percent of Indians hold an absurd amount of the nations wealth.