New Delhi: The finance ministry on Tuesday told Rajya Sabha that it had no plan to implement Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) for measuring the overall growth of the country.
Critics have long pointed out that the GDP doesn’t capture overall well being of the citizens and there should be another index which also capture spiritual, physical, social and environmental health of its citizens.
Member of Parliament Amar Shankar Sable had asked whether the government is contemplating to implement the process of fixing the criteria of Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) for measuring the overall growth. “There is no such proposal at present with the Ministry of Finance,” MoS (finance) Pon Radhakrishnan said.
“As per the United Nations Statistics Division’s database on National Accounts Statistics, there is no country in the world that uses GDH procedure to assess the overall growth rate,” added the minister.
Since World War II, a nation’s success has been measured by the country’s economic output in monetary terms called GDP. However there has been also attempts to measure a country’s success through alternate means.
It was Bhutan which first evolved the concept of Gross National Happiness. Infact it was former Bhutan King Jigme Singye Wangchuck who had coined the term “Gross National Happiness”.
France’s former President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2008 had commissioned the economists Joseph E. Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Jean-Paul Fitoussi to write a report investigating the usefulness of happiness in development indexes. Mr Sarkozy had said that governments should do away with the “religion of statistics” in which financial prowess was the sole indicator of a country’s state of health.
In 2011, the UN general assembly passed a resolution inviting member states to consider measures that could better capture the “pursuit of happiness” in development.