ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The New Vice Chairman

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The selection of Rajiv Kumar as the new vice chairman of the NITI Aayog is a good occasion to review his paper published in this journal (“Making Reforms Work for Common People,” EPW, 16 July 2016). In this article, Kumar clearly argues that, for a developing country like India, reforms will work for the common people if special focus is given to the non-tradable sectors, like health, education and infrastructure. He also dismisses the relevance of the Washington Consensus for India.

In the context of non-tradables, I would like to refer to a paper that John Mellor had written with me as the co-author, “How Does Agricultural Growth Dominate Poverty Reduction in Low and Middle Income Countries” (Pakistan Development Review, Spring 2007). We had shown that poverty alleviation can be speeded up with accelerated growth of agricultural incomes and when the related benefits are linked with the non-tradables in rural areas. Again, rural infrastructure, rural health and rural education are key policy instruments for that. Furthermore, for faster agriculture growth, investment in research institutions is of paramount importance, which has been lacking in India for a long time.

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Updated On : 11th Aug, 2017

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