Inclusive Development Strategies will Require More Inclusive Growth Processes, say participants of a UNDP-Planning Commission Consultation in New Delhi

Oct 24, 2011

New Delhi -  A two-day consultation organized by the Planning Commission and the United Nations Development Programme aimed to arrive at a conceptual understanding of inclusive growth and the key determinants of an inclusive growth framework that can guide countries, development agencies and communities in the coming years.

“Inclusive growth means much more than poverty reduction. Issues of equity, both inter-generational and between rich and poor, regional inequities and the needs of minorities need to be factored in,” said Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission.

He was speaking at a two-day consultation organised by the Planning Commission and the United Nations Development Programme which began in New Delhi today. As the Government of India embarks on formulating the 12th Five-Year Plan, the consultation aims to arrive at a conceptual understanding of inclusive growth and the key determinants of an inclusive growth framework that can guide countries, development agencies and communities in the coming years. According to Ajay Chhibber, UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, “Special affirmative action programmes that address discrimination will not be sufficient to achieve inclusive growth if the overall growth process is not intrinsically inclusive, i.e. if it does not encourage employment or reduce rural-urban growth disparities.“ As concern mounts over the need for policies that promote economic growth and lead to better human development outcomes for people, Patrice Coeur-Bizot, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, India, said, “There is now a growing recognition that countries need to simultaneously focus on economic growth and socio-economic progress, and it cannot be assumed that the former will pave the way for the latter.”

Tracing the trajectory of theoretical frameworks to understand growth and development, Rathin Roy, Director, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth said, “ Inclusive growth processes target better inclusion of citizens – as workers, entrepreneurs and consumers of public and private goods - in the delivery of growth. An inclusive growth strategy views growth as a target, and relies on the intensive use of factors of production of groups on the wrong side of the income distribution divide such as labour.”

The resounding message emanating from day one of the consultation is that a more inclusive development strategy will require a more inclusive growth process itself. Unequal growth accompanied by social programmes for those left behind will not be enough. Social policies play a critical role in the interventions that can enable people to participate on the “right side of the divide.”