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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Civil society upsurge is arrival of middle class: Economist Vijay Kelkar

Former chairman of the finance commission and eminent economist, Vijay Kelkar, termed the recent civil society movement led by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev as the arrival of the middle class in India.

“The recent crusades showed that the tax-paying middle class demanded their rights from the government. They needed an answer for the questions that the recent developments in the country evoked in their mind,” said Kelkar.

He was speaking at the 17th foundation day of the Non-Resident Indians’ Parents’ Organisation (Nripo) at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, off Senapati Bapat Road, on Sunday.

According to Kelkar, the reason of the upsurge of the middle class was the recent scams that the country is beset with. “The Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam, followed by the 2G spectrum scam and the land scams humiliated the middle class, which resulted in such an upsurge. The youth who were part of the agitation wanted to know the results of the money that they paid to the government as tax,” he said.

Kelkar feels that the Jan Lokpal Bill is not a perfect answer to curb corruption. “I am a little pessimistic about this Bill. If laws had to solve the problem, then our country has enough laws to curb it. The country needs preventive policies to eradicate corruption,” he said, adding that prevention of corruption is more essential than solving it.

On the level of corruption in the country, Kelkar said, “The growing GDP proves that the rate of corruption has reduced. The day is not far when the country will emerge as the fastest growing economy in the world.”


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