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RSS fatwa against GDP: “It is a foreign concept”

Mumbai: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said the Gross Domestic Product does not reflect the economic performance of the country as it is a foreign concept, the Hindustan Times reported.

Bhagwat was speaking on the Indian Economy and Economic Policies at the Bombay Stock Exchange. “There are countries that have rejected the concept of GDP,” Bhagwat said, according to the newspaper. “Bhutan uses a happiness index. In the Indian scenario that may not be suitable, so we can come up with our own index for measuring growth.”

 

He said India needed a balance of agriculture, industry and commerce. “For the past few decades we have been measuring our growth based on western models,” the Business Standard quoted Bhagwat as saying. “These methodologies have serious flaws. India should put together its own model for development, which should be based on the idea of empowerment of all.”

He also cautioned the Narendra Modi government against selling more than 49% stake in Air India. He said the national carrier should not be sold to a foreigner, but an Indian player who can run it efficiently.

On March 28, the government invited bids to divest 76% stake in the national carrier through transfer of management, control and sale of equity share capital. It had issued a preliminary information memorandum on Air India’s strategic divestment.

Bhagwat said India must have ownership and control over its skies through Air India. “I am told some countries have not allowed a foreign entity to hold more than 29% stake. Germany has allowed only 49%. That is because each country wants to have the ownership and control over its skies,” he added, according to Mint.

The RSS chief also rejected the concept of cashless economy, which has been promoted by Modi. He said the country can aim for less-cash economy, but there are many people who cannot go cashless. “They simply cannot afford to invest energy in understanding cashless. There needs to be some cash flowing in the world economy,” he said.