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Focus more on reducing poverty than inequality: Arvind Panagariya

Not possible to achieve equality till there is gender equality, he added

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Arvind Panagariya
Arvind Panagariya

Poverty reduction should take precedence over reducing in India, outgoing Niti Aayog Vice Chairman said today, while underlining that the country needs to focus much more on providing equality of opportunities, health and education.

There can be a potentially serious conflict between poverty reduction and reduction in inequality, Panagariya said. "I would focus much more on equality of opportunities, health and education."


He pointed out that "when we think about our historic economic policies, actually at some point of time (1960-70s), we worried too much about which led to policy mistakes".

is complex as well as multi-dimensional and in developing countries like India, poverty reduction should take precedence over removal, he said.

"For rich countries, is a bigger issue. For India, the removal of poverty has more salience than reduction in inequality," Panagariya said at an event here.

He said that going by the Gini co-effecient, Kerala is the most unequal state and Bihar most equal. "Focus on poverty eradication is the key."

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said there are 201 backward districts in which need to be readily transformed to reduce in the country.

"You can't bring equality through legislation. My belief is that we can't bring equality without greater focus on health and education," Kant noted.

Also, it is not possible to achieve equality till there is gender equality, he added.

First Published: Mon, August 28 2017. 14:13 IST
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