Economy

Nepal's development more inclusive than India's, China's

Nepal's development more inclusive than India's, China's

"Designed as an alternative to GDP, Inclusive Development Index" more accurately reflects the criteria by which people assess the economic progress of their countries.

Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Davos to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Monday, the world body ranked India at 62 among the emerging economies on an inclusive Development index. It has three pillars: growth and development; inclusion; and intergenerational equity - sustainable stewardship of natural and financial resources.

Over the same period, only 12 of the 29 advanced economies were successful in reducing poverty and only eight saw a decrease in income inequality. The index is prepared keeping in mind the living standards, environmental stability, and protection of future generations. It further said that slow progress in living standards and widening inequality have contributed to political polarization and erosion of social cohesion in many advanced and emerging economies. Out of 29 countries, the USA is 10th in growth and development, but 28th and 26th respectively in the inclusion index and intergenerational equity. The only bright spot for India is that it is in the list of ten emerging economies with "advancing" trend. Most emerging economies have improved in these respects, with 84% of them registering a decline in poverty, though their absolute levels of inequality remain much higher. It is followed by Canada (17), France (18), the United Kingdom (21), the U.S. (23), Japan (24) and Italy (27). In many countries, there is a stark difference between individual pillars. With relatively low growth and development, it also ranks 24th overall in terms of leaving the next generation with little to show for its success.

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However, India's position lies even below other neighboring countries like Nepal (22), Bangladesh (34) and Sri Lanka (40).

Among the top-five most inclusive emerging economies are Lithuania, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Latvia and Poland. Norway tops the chart heavily dominated by European countries. Though India's position dropped by two places compared to last year's rank (60) at the WEF's yearly index, the country still lies much below China (26) and Pakistan (47). Although China ranks first among emerging economies in GDP per capita growth (6.8%) and labour productivity growth (6.7%) since 2012, its overall score is brought down by lacklustre performance on Inclusion. A majority, 16 of 29, have seen Inclusion deteriorate, and the remaining three have remained stable.


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