sonia gandhi calls for reduced inequality
Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi has made a speech calling for economic growth but cautioning that it much be balanced with a renewed concern for equity. Economic growth in India has been "spectacular," she said, "[b]ut should we not be mindful of possible adverse consequences of that progress and take steps to deal with them?" In a separate development the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported that poverty had been "dramatically" reduced in India and other South Asian countries, but that about 500 million working poor still lived on an average of less than $2 per day. They have company: almost half (47 percent) of the world's population falls in the same category. The ILO survey also found that only 36 percent of working age women in South Asia are actively engaged in the (wage) labor market, as opposed to 82 percent of the men.