Idea of a negative growth


By Prasenjit Sen (L&T-MHPS)

When the world is earnestly waiting to get over from the recession like situation, I really doubt whether the idea of a positive, double digit growth is relevant. Most of the companies and organizations are looking for a vibrant economy where they can invest their money for a good return. But the picture is not so rosy anywhere. Chinese dragon has gone for a long nap, where the government is earnestly trying to boost local consumption by huge financial soaps. India is also trying hard to maintain a growth rate above seven per cent . But, is this a sustainable situation in the long run?

On the other hand, the world is sitting on the edge of a potential global warming that will cause an irreversible effect on ecological balance. The natural resources like air & water are getting scarce or polluted day by day. In such situation, sustainable growth is all but impossible. Technically, for the economy to grow, you have to consume the natural resources, burn more coal and fuel, cut more trees and what not. All of these actions are putting a death nail to human civilization.  The effects are already in place all over the world. Take the fierce drought in India, or Wildfire in Canada, the examples of catastrophic ecological damage are numerous.

So, under the circumstances, what should be our goal for a sustainable life on earth? I presume, the answer remains in the mind-set. People have to understand, and limit their growth expectations to realistic level. Let’s not look for a double digit growth, but instead for a decent, sustainable one. The figure should be arrived in conjunction with the emission level, the storage of natural water resources of a country, the potential of crop production rate etc. The growth rate, in that sense, might be close to zero or even negative . People must understand, negative growth is the new positive and only hope for survival. Only then will  the social balance  be established for a longer term. Otherwise, the world is moving towards a dead end for sure.