“The growth rate could come down to six per cent or even less, but it won’t go down to minus 12 per cent as in Japan,” Sen told reporters after delivering a lecture on “Economics, Politics and Our Lives,” organised by Pratichi Trust that he founded with his Nobel Prize money.
Sen said the Indian economy has been able to sustain growth to some extent as the government was committed to reducing the fiscal deficit. “This may be called a stimulus package in US terminology,” he said adding that while boosting internal demand could counter the recession but is not without limitations as some sectors like IT and pharmaceuticals depended heavily on foreign sales.
The Nobel laureate did not mince words on the Left’s opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal. “According to me, the Left has isolated itself after it tried to bring down the government on the issue of the nuclear deal,” Sen said. “There are other disturbing issues in the country like hunger, illiteracy, lack of medical facilities and deprivation and I feel so much importance should not have been given to the nuclear deal issue,” he said.
Sen was scathing in his criticism of the West Bengal’s failure to attract investment. “Bengal already had a bad reputation as an investor unfriendly state due to the union problems at various industries. But post-Nandigram and Singur, it has again acquired that reputation,” he said. Sen’s statement comes a day after West Bengal slipped to 13th position in 2008 from fourth in 2007 in a ranking of India’s most investment-centric states, according to a paper published by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
He said while a multi-party system is the essence of democracy and any two parties can have legitimate differences on any issue, “in the case of West Bengal, the legitimate differences have produced an illegitimate situation in the state”.
Sen said frequent bandhs were depriving the state of industrial development. “This is an environment where industrial development is almost impossible. What we need at the moment is a regime of consultation,” he said.
Well said and right on the mark. So much history to be proud of. Democracy must not be used to promote autocracy by a small number of selfish group,blocking progress for the majority of honest and hard working men and women. Time is now to regulate stupid "Bandhs". There are other issues but terrible infrastructure is one of the most important factor.Hoping younger generation will take lesson from young US citizens and vote for somebody like President Obama.