I have been in several discussions recently in which people have argued that there is a definite trade-off between promoting economic growth and supporting inclusiveness. In particular, social protection is considered part of a set of welfare-oriented “populist policies” which is a drain on national budgets, as opposed to real investment to spur economic growth.
Indu Bhushan is currently Director General of the Strategy and Policy Department at ADB. Prior to this appointment, he has worked in Southeast Asia and Pacific regions. Before joining ADB, he was a member of the Indian Administrative Service. An electrical engineer by training, he has master’s degree in health sciences and PhD in public health economics. His wife, Anjana, works with the World Health Organization. He has two daughters, Devika and Ambika. He loves to watch sports and movies, and play bridge.
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As the discussion around the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) framework gains momentum, I also want to add my meek voice to the growing buzz, which is likely to reach a crescendo in September this year. The MDGs represent the global vision of reducing poverty in its various dimensions. Needless to say, we need continued attention to all the goals, since we can hardly declare “mission accomplished” in any of the dimensions of poverty they seek to address.
I must confess that I have been struggling to find a good working definition of inclusive growth for some time, although I believe I understand the concept vaguely. This term is now very widely used in the development policy discourse in Asia and the Pacific.