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Sansad TV: Perspective- Sustainable, Balanced & Inclusive Growth

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Introduction:

After a highly successful G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi, Brazil has taken over the G20 presidency from 1st December. In this one year as the G20 Chair, India has strived to bridge divides, dismantle barriers and sow seeds of collaboration that nourish a world where unity prevails over discord and where shared destiny eclipses isolation. India’s mantra of Vasudhaiva Kutumbukam – the world is one family – reflects in the eight broad themes adopted in the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, giving an all-embracing outlook, encouraging the world to progress as one universal family, transcending borders, languages, and ideologies. We’ll discuss each of these themes of the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration that call for human-centric progress. The first and the foremost commitment made by the G20 leaders is – Achieving a strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. It talks about the global economic situation, unlocking trade for growth, advancing financial inclusion and fighting corruption.

Need for balanced growth:

  • After the financial crisis, G20 Leaders pledged to work together to ensure a lasting recovery and strong and sustainable growth over the medium term by implementing the G20 Mutual Assessment Process (MAP).
  • To meet this goal, they launched the Framework for achieving strong, sustainable, and balanced growth, which is being implemented in the G20 Framework Working Group (FWG).
  • The cost-of-living crisis has receded on the back of moderating food and energy prices but remains pressing in the poorest economies. Amid rising debt servicing costs and the strong dollar, debt vulnerabilities are mounting in some emerging market economies.
  • Sustainable Resource Management: Environmental preservation ensures the responsible use and management of natural resources.
  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Preserving the environment is crucial for mitigating and adapting to climate change.
  • Ecosystem Services: Environmental preservation ensures the continuity of essential ecosystem services, such as clean air and water, pollination of crops, and nutrient cycling. These services are the foundation of human well-being and economic activities.
  • Resilience to Natural Disasters: Preserving natural habitats, such as wetlands and mangroves, can act as natural buffers against natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
  • Economic growth that respects environmental preservation can enhance resilience and reduce the economic impact of such disasters.
  • Tourism and Recreation: Many economies heavily rely on tourism and recreational activities, which often center around natural landscapes and biodiversity.
  • Health and Productivity: A clean environment positively influences public health.
  • Healthy populations are more economically productive and less burdened by healthcare expenses.
  • Innovation and Green Technologies: Emphasizing environmental preservation encourages research and investment in green technologies and sustainable practices.
  • This can lead to new industries, job opportunities, and economic growth through innovation and clean energy development.
  • International Relations and Trade: Countries with strong environmental preservation measures are often regarded more favorably in international relations and trade agreements.
  • Emphasizing environmental responsibility can foster positive relationships with other nations and facilitate access to global markets.
  • Long-Term Economic Stability: Economic growth that disregards environmental preservation is prone to boom-and-bust cycles, as resource depletion and environmental damage can lead to economic instability.
  • By prioritizing sustainability, economies can achieve more stable, resilient, and predictable growth trajectories.

Economic growth and social justice

  • G-20 policymakers should remain focused on achieving inflation goals, while striving to restore growth prospects
  • Inclusive Growth: Economic growth should be inclusive, meaning that it benefits all members of society, including marginalized and vulnerable populations. Policies and initiatives should be designed to reduce income inequality and provide opportunities for socio-economic advancement for everyone.
  • Poverty Reduction: Social justice demands that efforts be made to lift people out of poverty. Economic growth should be harnessed to create jobs, improve education, and provide better healthcare, thereby reducing poverty and enhancing the overall well-being of citizens.
  • Access to Basic Services: Economic growth must be accompanied by enhanced access to basic services such as education, healthcare, housing, and clean water. This ensures that economic progress translates into improved living standards for all, rather than just a select few.
  • Fair Labor Practices: Economic growth should be supported by fair labor practices that protect workers’ rights, ensure reasonable wages, and provide safe working conditions. This helps to prevent exploitation and fosters a more just society.
  • Social Safety Nets: Implementing social safety nets can provide a safety cushion for those who might be adversely affected by economic changes or downturns. These safety nets can include unemployment benefits, food assistance, and affordable healthcare, among other programs.
  • Fair Taxation: Progressive taxation can play a vital role in promoting social justice. Wealthier individuals and corporations can contribute a higher share of their income to support social welfare programs and infrastructure development.
  • Empowerment and Participation: Social justice involves empowering individuals and communities to participate in economic decision-making processes. This can include involving citizens in policy formulation, encouraging community involvement, and supporting local businesses.

Conclusion:

  • Multilateral efforts by G-20 policymakers are required to solve global challenges.
  • The main medium-term risks threatening the global economy—supporting vulnerable economies, resisting further geoeconomic fragmentation, fighting climate change—are global in nature and therefore must be tackled in a collaborative manner.
  • More efficient coordination on debt resolution, including through the G-20 Common Framework supported by the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable, is needed.
  • Countries should reduce trade tensions, strengthen the multilateral trading system, and address food and energy security.
  • Net-zero carbon emissions require coordination on carbon pricing or equivalent policies.