Rapid economic growth exacerbating rich-poor divide in India, Asia: ADB

   Apr 11, 1:21 pm

London, Apr 11 (ANI): Asia's rapid economic growth may undermine stability because the gap between the rich and poor is widening in India and other Asia countries, the Asia Development Bank (ADB) has revealed in its annual report.

In the report, the bank cited that a key inequality measure increased to an average reading of 38 in Asia which is on the climb, as opposed to the readings of Latin America and Africa, which are declining.

India, China, and Indonesia are the major countries that have witnessed severe growth in inequality.

ADB's Chief Economist, Changyong Rhee, explained that Asia may be seeing a long-term shift in the way the gap between rich and poor has been managed, the BBC reports.

"People are asking for more. Not only are they asking for bread, but they are asking for a more even distribution of bread," he said.

In its report, the ADB said that the Gini coefficient, which is used to quantify the inequality gap, had increased to 37 from 33 in India, since the early 1990s to 2010. For China, the figure rose to 43 from 32 while in Indonesia, it jumped from 29 to 39.

"Inequality leads to a vicious circle, with unequal opportunities creating income disparities, that in turn lead to dramatic differences in future opportunities for families," Mr Rhee pointed out.

However, the ADB has predicted that economic growth in developing Asia will keep growing steadily, coming in at 6.9% in 2012 and 7.3% in 2013. Inflationary pressures, which have been one of the biggest headaches over the past 12 months for the Asian economies, are reported to have been moderating.

"Another 240 million people could have been lifted out of poverty over the past 20 years if inequality had remained stable instead of increasing, as it has since the 1990s," Mr Rhee added. (ANI)

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