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The UPA2 government today delivered spectacularly on the economic front by achieving a phenomenal GDP growth rate of 30%. It did so by the simple expedient of incorporating the value of unpaid domestic labour of the nation’s 60 crore women into the computation of India’s GDP.
A chuffed up Prime Minister addressed the nation early this morning to break the news. “On 13th September 2012, moments before the clock struck midnight, India’s GDP grew by 30.6%. I am proud to say that India, from being one of the fastest growing countries in the world, is now THE fastest growing country in the world,” said Dr. Manmohan Singh, reading from a written speech, and flashed the V-sign at the camera for good measure.
According to PMO insiders, the idea struck Dr. Singh on Thursday, when he was sipping evening tea at his residence, even as his better half, Mrs. Gurcharan Kaur let him know for the millionth time how under-appreciated she was for what she did. “If only I had taken up that bank job when I had the chance 30 years back, I wouldn’t be doing this thankless job of making aloo parathas for you,” she sighed wistfully, upon which Dr. Singh’s abruptly sprayed a mouthful of tea all over his newspaper. A moment later, he leapt up and rushed to call Deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
“Monty yaar, simply by recognizing the opportunity cost of a woman taking up domestic duties instead of a regular job, as the value for unpaid labour, we can achieve massive growth and release some kickass animal spirits!” said an excited Dr. Singh. There was a pause on the other end after which Monty exclaimed, “Abe Sardar, this is mind blowing yaar!” The two eminent economists began jumping up and down in excitement on either end of the telephone line. Later, they got together to work on a spreadsheet and were up till 3 AM finalizing the exact GDP growth projections.
The decision has been hailed by all parties barring BJP as an economic masterstroke. Many now believe that this might prove to be Dr. Singh’s second biggest contribution to the Indian economy after 1991 and may very well go on to define his legacy.
“We have shown exactly how overrated good governance and a corruption free system is, when it comes to the economy. With some smart thinking and a bit of nifty excel work, we have got the economy roaring and left China far behind in terms of growth,” said Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram. When The UnReal Times asked the Minister if India would continue to retain its growth advantage, given that China could just as easily update its GDP definition, the Harvard educated lawyer replied triumphantly, “Aha! Thats where the genius of this plan lies. Research shows that Indian men are comparatively lazier than Chinese men, which means Indian women do a lot more thankless domestic work than their Chinese counterparts, and hence contribute a lot more to the GDP!”
The UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, welcomed the decision as well. “Frankly, I don’t understand all this GDP stuff, but it is good to know that I’ve been contributing greatly to the nation’s economy by mothering and pampering Rahul all this while, and I will continue to do so,” she said.
The common man, meanwhile, is left rather perplexed about the turn of events. “I don’t understand,” said Sumathi, a mother of three from a middle-class household in Chennai. “Does this mean the government is going to pay us for what we do at home?”
This UnReal Times correspondent had a hard time explaining to her that it was only a notional value attributed to her efforts as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, educator, accountant and so on, but his explanations rang hollow. After all how can one put a reasonable price on what a mother gives to her child?