Vellore: The three-day Centenary Second and 101st Annual Conference of Indian Economic Association came to a close at Vellore Institution of Technology (VIT). The Conference was organized by the Department of Commerce of the School of Social Sciences and Language. It was inaugurated on Thursday by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Presided over by Dr. G.Viswanathan, Founder and Chancellor of Vellore Institute of Technology and Conference President. Dr. C. Rangarajan, former Governor of Reserve Bank of India and former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, released books on the occasion and spoke.
In his Special Address, Dr. Viswanathan said that attempts were being made for the past 70 years to make India a developed nation. This was very much possible and there are plenty of opportunities to make this a reality. If politicians, bureaucracy and the people of the country made a united effort, this dream can be realized. Among the 60 corruption nations in Asia, the percentage of corruption prevailing in India stood at 69 percent, while it was less than .5 percent in Japan.
Japan was among the worst affected nation in the Second World War, yet it had now bounced back as among the world’s most developed nations. This had become possible as growth was achieved due to zero corruption. China too has a strict policy against corruption and in the past 5 years, 15 lakh government employees have been penalized for indulging in corruption. Even one of the Chinese Premier has been arrested for corruption.
India’s financial losses due to corruption have touched Rs. 70 lakh crore. This was due to tax evasion by the corporate sector and corruption at various levels and it was unfortunate that police protection was being given to those accused of corruption. Delegates and experts in the field of the economy who took part in the three-day Conference should arrive at solutions to ensure growth in agriculture, industry, employment generation, and sustainable development, in addition to increasing the per capita income of the people, Dr. Viswanathan added.
Dr. Rangarajan said that raising investment ratio, putting the banking system back on its rails, employment generation through better growth, enhancing export growth to contain current account deficit and removing agrarian distress by increasing productivity and consolidation of small landholdings are the five concerns as the year 2018 comes to an end.
Dr. Rangarajan, also a former President of Indian Economic Association, said that growth is the solution to many of socio-economic problems in the country. “But at the same time, we need to address the vulnerable sections directly. We must combine the passion for growth with compassion for the poor and vulnerable.”
He said that reforms were not ends in themselves and that even growth was not an end in itself. Growth triggered by reforms should all sections of the society and equity and efficiency should not be posed as opposing considerations. “They must be weaved together to provide an acceptable pattern of development.”
On the occasion, Dr. Viswanathan handed over mementos to Dr. Rangarajan, Dr. Vedagiri Shanmugasundaram, Dr. M. Madaiah, Dr. Tapan Kumar Shandilya, and Dr. Yashoda Shanmugasundaram, former Presidents of Indian Economic Association. S.Mahendra Dev, President of IEA and Dr. Anil Kumar Thakur, General Secretary & Treasurer-IEA, VIT Vice President Dr. Sekar Viswanathan, Pro Vice Chancellor Dr. S Narayanan also spoke on the occasion.