India's economic model skewed: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

New Delhi, Dec 22 (IANS) India needs well-balanced growth in which service, industrial and agricultural sectors reinforce each other as the present economic model is skewed with insufficient employment opportunities for the poor, businesswoman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said Saturday.

Delivering the 25th Intelligence Bureau centenary endowment lecture on "The Role of Biotechnology in Inclusive Economic Development", Mazumdar-Shaw, head of biotechnology enterprise Biocon, said that agriculture accounts for about 52 percent of employment but contributes 14 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

"Today we have a skewed economic model wherein India's service industry accounts for nearly 58 percent of the country's GDP while the industrial and agricultural sectors contribute 28 percent and 14 percent respectively...clearly, the sectoral structure of India's growth has provided insufficient employment opportunities to the poor," she said.

She said the country was passing through turbulent and transformational times as it was transitioning from rural, agrarian economy to a urban, modern economy.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said aspirations were burning across the sections of society fueled by urbanisation and access to technology.

"When these are not realised, resentment stokes the yearnings of the disadvantaged. In this disruptive phase of India's history, we must, therefore, ensure that the benefits of growth reach every single citizen of India.

"If not, if inequity reigns and hopes die, our efforts to create a prosperous India will not bear fruit," she said.

The technocrat, who has been conferred the Padma Bhushan, said India's economy was facing strains due to external and internal factors and was reflective of pain enveloping the country.

She said basic needs of the majority of Indian population remain unsatisfied with unacceptable levels of hunger, illiteracy and jobless existence, creating a vicious cycle of poverty and despair.

Mazumdar-Shaw said the country should have a clear roadmap of "where we want our economy to be in 2050".

She said bio-technology can usher in a second green revolution with unprecedented opportunities to ensure food security along with the economic well-being of the farmer.

The lecture was attended by serving and retired officers of IB. Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla were also present.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde could not attend the function as he was caught up in meetings over protests by people against gang-rape and torture of a 23-year-old woman in a moving bus in the capital Sunday.


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