Scrolling Notification

When I get time, I listen to music, or read books. If any is left, I blog!

Thursday 1 March 2012

Drive 150 km for Tea?

Four youngsters barely in their twenties.  One comes driving a swanky new car.  There is a clamour for a treat.   And the offer is tea at a wayside shop 150 km away!  “Drive 150 km for chai?  Awesome, dude” is the reaction.
Just an ad film (Click here).  Yet it conveys that India may be poor, but Indians aren't!
Fifty years ago, India's GDP was US$ 37 billion.  Today it is a whopping US$ 1729 billion!   The Forbes 2011 talks of 50 Indians in its list of World Billionaires.  As per Credit Suisse, there are 170,000 'rich' Indians making the country the 12th 'richest' in the world.  The 'rich' in global terms refers to those who have assets worth US$ 1.0 million or more, over and above their primary possessions and outstanding liabilities.  In the next slot are 4.5 million Indians with surplus assets of US$ 100,000!

A National Council of Applied Economic Research estimate, puts the Indian households with annual income in excess of US$ 20000 at 3.8 million.   The cash stashed abroad by Indians is said to be over US$ 500 billion!  The black money circulating within the country is in the region of US$ 300 billion!  According to a Central Statistical Office report, the per capita income at current prices stands at US$ 1240, a rise of 14.3% over the previous year!   The average salaries this year too, are expected to move up in double digits.

We are rolling in cash, so much so that manual counting of currency notes is beginning to bore us.  No wonder, a flurry of automatic counting machines has hit the local market.  White or black, cash can now be dusted and counted, and even the counterfeits identified in a matter of seconds.  All for a mere US$ 200!

Are we talking about surplus income?   No. It is the disposable income that is motivating us.  So, why should anyone feel scandalised if four youngsters decide to drive 300 km, have tea, and return?

Money does not not reflect progress, prosperity or well-being, until you start spending it.  One reason, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), the economic indicator since the Second World War days, is no more seen as a true measure of the standard of a nation's prosperity.  Today, it is the HPI (Happy Planet Index) combining economic metrics with indicators of well-being (health, education, life span, satisfaction etc.) that matters.  Perhaps, why in a recent HPI survey, Costa Rica emerged right on top, and India ranked 79 positions ahead of the US!

Didn't he sound factual, when Barack Obama said: "Money may not be the only answer, but it does make a difference."
"Money is the barometer of a society's virtue."
Ayn Rand


  1. Pay yourself, not tax.

  2. Brilliant & interesting statistical information. We all strive to achieve the utopia of equal distribution of the national wealth....which is not the case, anyway!
    We have farmers committing suicide due to their economic condition at one place and a $1.00 billion mansion waiting for 1 family of 5 members to occupy it at another place!Strange is the diversity!


    Partha deb

  3. Well. Here is an interesting piece of news:
    The Bombay Parsi Punchayet on Friday told the Bombay High Court that it considers a Parsi who earns under Rs 50,000 a month to be 'poor'... - (TOI Mar 3, 2012)

  4. If I'd known this was about statistics I would've given your post a wide berth. But to make a connect between four youngsters going off somewhere to have tea and a very dry subject, showing how HPI, health, education, life-span and satisfaction matters more than GDP - I have to admit I enjoyed it.

  5. Thanks KayEm. Thanks for noticing and appreciating my effort to add some life to an otherwise dry subject.

  6. Basil D'souza11:37 am

    hey buddy,
    i grant it to you. your blog has a variety of topics. your writing is easy to read and follow. you have a meaningful message in every post. and you go about doing it in a subtle satirical way. keep it up

  7. In today's world, a person's success is mapped and measured by the amount he earns and not by the efforts he puts!