Economic Growth brings miseries to poor : Achuthanandan

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) Expressing serious differences with the Eleventh Plan document on several counts, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan today regretted that the growth process had adversely affected a very large segment of the rural population while increasing the number of billionaires.

"It (growth process) affects large segments of the peasantry, as is evident for instance from the spate of farmer suicides all over the country," he said, while speaking at the National Development Council (NDC) meeting here.

Mr Achuthanandan strongly argued to drive home his point that there were no sections untouched by the growth process in the modern society. "The persisting misery of some is the outcome of the same growth process which has brought prosperity to others; that the growth process which our country is witnessing necessarily has differential impacts on different sections of society." Stating that the Plan document failed to meet the problem of agrarian crisis head on, he expressed doubts over the possibility of achieving the four per cent agricultural growth. "Even if perchance, it does materialise, then that can only be through the agency of large farmers, in which case the employment generation that the Plan document expects in agriculture is unlikely to occur." Saying that the Plan document's employment strategy was suspect, Mr Achuthanandan pointed out that the realisation of the Plan's objective of "inclusiveness" depends crucially upon the absorption of the labour reserved into gainful employment.

The Chief Minister said the current rate of unemployment was the highest ever in post-independence India, while regretting that the growth process had been accompanied by a distinct worsening of unemployment, disguised employment and under-employment.

"Nothing specific has been visualised in the Draft Plan to break out of this situation, to ensure that the growth process during the Eleventh plan will have any different consequences for the employment scenario," Mr Achuthanandan said.

In this context, he said the specific claim that the growth process would have any different impact "in terms of inclusiveness therefore rings hollow." More UNI

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