ASIA/INDIA - Christians to Prime Minister Modi: "work for inclusive growth"

Friday, 2 December 2016

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) – May the Indian government take action to ensure inclusive economic growth, which does not cut off the broad masses of socially excluded populations. This is the appeal launched to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). The open letter to the Prime Minister, sent to Agenzia Fides, recalls that the nation is "split in two", marked by the serious issue of corruption, economic and social inequalities, by the problematic relationship with religious minorities.
The letter touches the effects of the recent decision of "demonetization" (see Fides 18/11/2016) which wanted to be "a step towards India's transformation into an economy without cash". But, according to government estimates, "40 percent of Indians do not use formal banking services", notes the letter, and it is the poorest segments of the population and institutions working in the social service to be heavily penalized.
"Orphanages and homes for poor people, charity institutes can no longer handle the situation, given that India does not have a social safety net to sustain their needs", it says, entrusted only to the good heart of private donors. One has to take into consideration the condition of "more than two million women entrepreneurs and small farmers who are facing an uncertain future and hunger" notes the text. "Wages, businesses, agriculture: all realities which have been affected. These small economic realities now earn 30 percent of what they earned before the demonetization" remarked S. George.
The letter explains that "in rural areas the economy is based mainly on cash but it is not a black economy, it does not evade taxes. In rural areas, people save cash, pay cash, the agricultural economy works in cash".
Millions of citizens and small businesses "need the help of the government to resume their small businesses" so that the negative effects of demonetization mitigates. The letter ends with an appeal and a wish to "a new year of prosperity" for all Indian citizens, for a truly inclusive and non-selective well-being. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 02/12/2016)