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Indians must have purchasing power before India increases its productions

 

Bhubaneswar,

Last updated 06 Jul 2016 01:02 IST

  Justice Markandey Katju, India, Industry, Poor
To raise the standard of living of the masses India requires a massive, highly developed and modern industry, for that alone can generate the wealth necessary for this purpose. Agriculture alone cannot do this. In fact modern agriculture requires a highly developed industry to supply it tractors, combines, pesticides, fertilizers, etc.
 

Justice Markandey Katju has been in controversies since he took over the post of chairman of the Press Council of India. Earlier in controversy by voicing to uphold the right to free speech and on related issues, Justice Katju has been the epicentre of the huge controversy over corruption in higher judiciary since last few days. But Justice Katju doesn’t mean controversy or controversial views only but he has a vision for the development of India and its poor people too. Here is the blog written by Justice Katju that gives the government and its policy makers an idea for making India really grow.

What is to be done?

The test of every system, whatever it may be called, is one and only one: does it raise the standard of living of the masses?

In other words, does it provide employment to the masses with adequate incomes and abolish unemployment, does it provide good education, good healthcare and housing for the masses etc.?

Now to raise the standard of living of the masses requires a massive, highly developed and modern industry, for that alone can generate the wealth necessary for this purpose. Agriculture alone cannot do this. In fact modern agriculture requires a highly developed industry to supply it tractors, combines, pesticides, fertilizers, etc.

 

Quotation starts

To have a large, modern industry we must have a large market, because the goods which are manufactured must be sold. That is why we must remain united as a country, otherwise we will not have a large domestic market.

Quotation ends

Money does not fall from the sky, it can only come from a highly developed industry on a large scale. Even for setting up one primary school requires a great deal of money, to buy land, build schoolrooms, pay salaries to teachers and other staff, etc.

We have to build tens of thousands of primary schools, high schools, colleges, Universities, scientific institutes, Medical colleges, Engineering Colleges, hospitals, etc. Where will the money for all this come from? It can only come from a highly developed industry.

But to have a large, modern industry we must have a large market, because the goods which are manufactured must be sold. That is why we must remain united as a country, otherwise we will not have a large domestic market.

Overdependence on foreign markets is very precarious, because that foreign market may be captured by some other countries’ goods, or there may be a recession in that foreign country due to which it may not be able to buy our goods, and then our export industries will close down. So for stability we must mainly depend on our domestic market.

But if our people are largely poor they will not have the purchasing power to buy the goods which our domestic industry produces. That is why we must raise the purchasing power of our masses by raising their real incomes, that is, incomes relative to the price index, so that the goods manufactured can be sold.

The problem is therefore not how to increase production. There is no difficulty in increasing production, for the position today is very different from what it was in 1947. In 1947 there were few industries (the British policy was to keep India largely unindustrialized so that our industries do not become a rival to British industries), and few engineers and managers as compared to today. Today, however we have thousands of bright engineers and managers, and industry has grown compared to 1947. We can at any time increase steel production, or chemicals production, or production of anything with the help of our engineers and managers, many of whom are brilliant (the Silicon Valley in U.S.A. has thousands of bright Indian engineers). We have also huge natural wealth which can give us all the raw materials we require, because India is huge in size.

But the point is that the goods manufactured have to be sold, and how can they be sold if the people are poor and do not have the purchasing power to buy them? That is why the problem is not how to increase production (for that can easily be done) but how to increase the purchasing power of the masses, which will automatically raise their standard of living and give them decent lives, and also ensure that the goods manufactured are sold.

It is here that our genuine and patriotic intellectuals must apply their minds.

[Author is a former Supreme Court Judge and the Chairman of the Press Council of India]

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