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Tag Archives: Government

Mumbai is a city of extremes…it will show you the starkness of the poverty amidst all that talk about the economy growing at 9% , and I cannot help thinking about how much and how soon all this development will percolate to people at the lowest rung in the society ( I am not an economist, so I think in layman’s terms about all this, and not from any theoretical perspective, which makes it all the more difficult to digest some of the things that you witness…)

One of the biggest paradoxes of our country is the huge amount of aid that is being pumped in to eliminate poverty, improve health services, educate more people etc etc etc…But the recent World Bank DIR reveals a lot of corruption in the handling of these multi-million projects. Frankly, I am not surprised at this revelation…I am surprised at the naiveness of the lenders in assuming that these projects would not be the target of corruption, not to undermine the intellect or the efficiency of these world bodies, but still, knowing the culture and the current mechanisms existing in the governance, one should assume that such projects need a much stricter supervision and evaluation mechanism !

Definitely, we know that the poor receive less than 5% of any money set aside for their development ( the figure may be debated, but the truth remains that they get next to nothing…) Its not about pumping in more money, its about making it reach where it matters, that needs attention and focus.

Will leave you with a couple of interesting articles to read on poverty and development….

The Arithmetic of Poverty by Praful Patel, World Bank’s Vice President for the South Asia region

Foreign Aid when the problem is government failure by Shanta Devarajan, Chief Economist of the South East Asis at the World Bank.