Spreading the Wealth in India

That was the topic of a posh tea at the Prime Minister's house recently, as business leaders struggle with making sure that India's boom benefits more than just the urban professionals.

It's not every day you get invited to the Prime Minister of India's house for tea. As part of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting, which opened in India a few days ago, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked a hundred or so delegates to tea on the lawn of his residence Sunday evening. Guests were bused to the PM's New Delhi house and escorted along a path beneath trees that teamed with chirping Indian Mynah birds and the occasional peacock to a meeting room where the softly spoken Singh gave a short formal address. India's economy has experienced 8% annual growth for the past few years but it was vital to make that growth "inclusive," said Singh, an economist who began liberalizing India's moribund economy in the early 1990s. "Unless growth is inclusive, unless we create a lot more jobs in the process, unless we include the backward communities" then growth will be pointless.


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