India, with a population of more than one billion people, is one of the biggest countries in the world. With a population so big, poverty is inevitable. Fortunately for those living in poverty, there is a silver lining on the horizon: Indian economic growth.
In 2015, the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects reported that India has the fastest-growing economy. Senior vice president of the World Bank Kaushik Basu explains that “with an expected growth of 7.5 percent [in 2015], Indian economic growth is, for the first time, leading the World Bank’s growth chart of major economies.” In 2017, India officially passed China as the fastest-growing economy in the world.
According to the Harvard University’s Center for International Development (CID), there are a few major reasons for India’s rise to the top. India expanded its exports to include more chemicals, vehicles and electronics. It has also garnered new capabilities and resources that will allow for more complex production. So what does this mean for the citizens of India who continue to live in poverty?
More production means more jobs and opportunities for those that are unemployed or need another job to supplement their income. In the past few years, with Indian economic growth surpassing other countries, the poverty rate is already going down.
The World Bank reports that poverty in India is down to 12.4 percent, from 21 percent in 2011/2012. This reduction in poverty is linked to the increased production and industrialization in India’s most rural areas. “Rural Electrification in India has caused changes in consumption and earnings, with increases in the labor supply of both men and women,” the report states.
The report goes on to say that access to public transportation helped reduce agriculture prices, famine and mortality risks. With finance minister Arun Jaitley allocating $15 billion to improve railroad safety, India seems to be on track to develop a thriving economy. Beyond that, it is on track to becoming a self-sustainable country that will eliminate poverty while it stays on the top as the fastest-growing economy in the world.
– Vicente Vera