Impact of the Financial Crisis on the Poor in India: Some Initial Perspectives

31 Dec 2009


This report presents some initial perspectives on the impact of global financial crisis on the people of India, particularly the poor, and points to the need for policy actions to transform the situation.

As part of contribution by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to the ongoing dialogue on the impact of the global financial crisis, we present in this collection some ‘initial perspectives’ on its impact on the poor in India, written by some of the country’s leading economists and analysts.

Rajiv Kumar presents a succinct analysis of the channels through which the financial crisis has impacted the Indian economy while Bibek Debroy examines the impact of the slowdown in economic growth at a disaggregated level – both by sectors and by regions. Jayati Ghosh analyses the impact of the crisis on agriculture, migrants and homebased workers. Vijay Mahajan unfolds the differential impact of the financial crisis on goods and services consumed by the masses and the elite. K. Seeta Prabhu from UNDP India highlights the likely impact of the financial crisis on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and on human development.

In keeping with UNDP’s perspective, these papers focus on ‘people’, particularly the poor: in agriculture, in the informal sector, in non-farm activities; and on the goods and services they consume. They delineate the conundrums emerging from the development pattern followed, thus far, and point to the need for policy actions to transform the situation to one of enlarging the range of choices and opportunities for the vulnerable sections of the population.

We hope this compilation of viewpoints from independent analysts will facilitate debate and the emergence of viable solutions that strengthen the linkages between economic growth and human development.

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