GUWAHATI, March 30 � Prof. Gerry Rodgers, the former Director, International Institute for Labour Studies, ILO, Geneva today said that a striking feature of the world economy during the last two or three decades has been the widening inequality with economic development. India is not an exception to this global trend. He was delivering the 9th Annual Day Lecture of Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development at the NEDFi House here today on �Inequality and Development, India in global perspective.� The function was presided over by Prof AC Bhagaboti, former Vice Chancellor of Arunachal University.
Prof Rodgers explained how inequality was intrinsic to the economic growth during the spread of global capitalism in the latter part of the 19th century and first decade of 20th century. Then after the World War II decolonization, the spread of a socially-regulated model of capitalism on Keynesian and social democratic principles, and the multiplication of Communist states ushered in a period of wider participation in the benefits of growth. But starting in the 1980s, the growing influence of neo-liberal models and policies once again created conditions favourable for increase in inequality. He concluded that in the context of India, the headline economic growth rate of 7, 8 or 9 per cent has no meaning, as long as the benefits are not equally distributed.