Social Scientist. v 22, no. 256-59 (Sept-Dec 1994) p. 129.


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K. R. NAYAR*

The New Era of Growth:

An Epitaph to the Environment

The new era of growth is analytically opposed to what the Brundtland Commission has in mind. The Commission's argument for a new era of growth to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, is incommensurate with the other "new era of growth" undertaken in India in the name of structural adjustment programmes. It is perhaps too early to provide data on the environmental backlash of these changes in the economy. However, it is possible to predict some of the likely fallouts from the available trends.

Table 1

Direct and Indirect Per Capita Consumption in India 1989-90 (in Rs. per annum)

Commodities Rural Urban

Bottom Middle Top Bottom Middle Top 40% 50% 40% 10% 50% 10%

Sugarcane 5271 99.71 183.20 53.84 93.58 149.83 Cotton 50.21 65.48 70.43 60.70 105.62 213.99 Coal and Ignite 21.51 37.27 80.63 40.40 94.27 237.79 Crude Petroleum

& natural gas 39.85 66.29 138.95 76.00 185.84 496.93 Iron Ore 0.22 0.40 0.97 0.36 0.93 2.57 Other metallic Minerals 127 2.47 6.07 2.30 6.13 16.29 Cement 2.42 4.21 11.81 3.56 8.13 28.52 Electricity, gas & 81.05 136.36 264.63 150.11 246.31 830.9Q water supply

AH commodities 3170.90 5636.45 11586.79 4926.13 11110.60 28128.77

Source: Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, quoted in World Resources, 1994-95.

Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Social Scientist, Vol. 22, Nos. 9-12, September-December 1994



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