Skip to main content

Bihar, Odisha "ensure" benefits of growth accrue to the poorest. In Gujarat, growth has "bypassed" the poor

By Our Representative
In a recent analysis, well-known academic, Prof Himanshu, who is assistant professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University and visiting fellow at Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi, has said "going by logic, the poor in richer states should be better off than their counterparts living in poorer states. This is especially so when the country is seeing a welcome trend: Income growth in rural areas and poverty reduction has witnessed unprecedented acceleration". However, he says, this does not happened "necessarily", as seen on the basis of the data from Gujarat vis-a-vis other states.
"Not only are erstwhile poor states growing at a faster rate, they are also performing better on other macroeconomic metrics. They have walked the talk on inclusion. The collateral benefit is that in the short run, it has helped cushion citizens from the stress in the economy due to double-digit food inflation and the general effect of an economic slowdown", he has said.
The scholar points out, "The shift of power away from urban and developed states has also meant that in terms of welfare outcomes, the economy continues to show better than average performance even during a time of slowdown. This is evident from the reduction in levels of poverty. Planning Commission estimates for 2011-12 show sharp poverty reduction between 2009-10 and 2011-12, which is double the rate observed in the previous decades."
He underines, "A large part of this can be attributed to the sharp decline in poverty in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Chhattisgarh—the states with largest concentrations of the poor. What is remarkable is that these states were also afflicted, till recently, by a record of poor governance. Significantly, the traditionally better off states—Kerala, Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra—are the ones throwing up the lowest rates of reduction in poverty. While Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan managed to reduce rural poverty by 21%, 11.5% and 10.4%, respectively, between 2009-10 and 2011-12, the comparative reduction in Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat was only 1.6%, 2.9% and 5.1%, respectively."
Prof Himanshu says, "A part of the reason for Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh performing much better on this score has been the innovations in public service delivery introduced by these states. All of them now figure among states with low leakage in the notoriously leaky public distribution system (PDS). In contrast, Gujarat has fallen behind from being among the best states in 1993-94 to the list of states with highest leakage in PDS by 2011-12. The correlation between improvements in service delivery, such as reduction in leakages in PDS and poverty reduction in the states, is strong, but is only a partial explanation of the strong performance in poverty reduction by these states."
In this context, he points out, "Most recent data on wages of casual workers, captured by the National Sample Survey’s (NSS) employment surveys, is revealing. Wages of private casual workers in rural areas rose by 12.6% a year between 2009-10 and 2011-12 in real terms. Even on a long-term basis, the growth rate of wages at 6.6% a year, between 2004-05 and 2011-12, for rural India should put to rest any doubts about the extent of poverty reduction. However, as in the case of poverty reduction, Bihar and Odisha take the lead in growth in wages. Wages of casual workers in Bihar rose by 20% per year between 2009-10 and 2011-12 followed by Odisha at 17% a year in real terms."
"On a long-term basis", he further says, "These two states continue to outperform the developed states by a significant margin. Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, wage rate growth in Odisha and Bihar were 8.3% and 7.8% a year. Gujarat once again is a laggard—wages grew by just 3.3% a year during this period and ranked last among major states. Similarly, Maharashtra, Haryana, Kerala and Punjab, too, showed growth in wages that is less than the national average."
Referring to "more recent data on this" available from the monthly wage series of the Labour Bureau, he says, "The verdict is similar. Between 2007-08 and 2012-13, farm wages of male workers grew at an average of 6.3% per annum at real terms. Wages of these workers in Odisha grew at 8.7% a year, while in Bihar the figure was 8.4%. Even in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, it was close to 7%. However, it increased by only 3.3% in Gujarat—the second lowest in the country. In 2000-01, agricultural wages in Gujarat were 21% higher than that in Bihar. By 2012-13, farm wages in Bihar were 11% higher than Gujarat."

Comments

TRENDING

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Bullet train impact report Japan agency property: Govt of India tells Gujarat NGO

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has told Gujarat-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) that the detailed report of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives on their visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra assess the impact of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on farmers is not its property, but that of JICA.

NHSRCL letter to PSS, signed by activists Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant and Swati Desai, comes following the latter’s request to it on June 10 for the report. PSS was one of the NGOs that represented JICA on the project, saying, if implemented, it would adversely impact farmers, even as pointing towards the fact that the project itself is unviable and Indian Railways needs to invest, instead, more on upgrading the present railway infrastructure.
Following the NHSRCL reply, PSS has shot a second letter to JICA, insisting that the latter should share a copy of the report, even as providing details of the …

Report on "torture" in Kashmir jails: 44% detainees stripped naked, 29% electrocuted

Counterview Desk
A recent report titled “Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir”, published by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), has claimed to build “on the body of human rights documentation on torture” in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) through an examination of 432 case studies. It seeks to focus on "the trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, contexts and impact of torture" in the state.

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Karma tribal festival an occasional to campaign for tribal rights: IPMSDL

By Our Representative
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), in a solidarity statement has suggested that the current Karam festival of Central India -- which seeks to promote sisterhood, friendship, cultural unity, and closer link to nature -- should be the occasion to campaign against alleged efforts to violently drive away forest dwelling communities from their forest homes.
"Millions are threatened to lose lands and livelihood under the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006", the statement States, adding, "As corporate interests continues to enter tribal territories and extract profit from its natural resources, indigenous people are pushed to further marginalization and discrimination."
Asserting that indigenous movement in India "remains steadfast in keeping their culture, deeply linked to their lands alive by carrying out their heritage and struggles", IPMSDL, even as extending "…

Amidst Modi celebrations, thousands protest 'massive' submergence in Narmada Valley

By Our Representative
Thousands of women and men gathered on at the Shaheed Stambh in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, to raise their voice against what they called "the destruction of the Narmada Valley", protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat BJP rulers for celebrating the Sardar Sarovar dam being filled up to the full reservoir level (FRL) on September 17, which also happens to be Modi's birthday.
Calling it a black day for the people of the Valley, whose villages and farms got submerged because of highest-ever water level having been achieved in the dam, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which organised the parallel rally across the border with Gujarat, regretted in a statement that Modi's celebration at the dam took place amidst " martyrdom of the Valley".
The demonstration in Badwani was preceded by a vehicles rally, which took rounds of the city streets. They were joined by people from several villages of Dhar district. They gather…

Narmada valley: SC notice to Gujarat, MP, M'rashtra on submergence sans rehabilitation

By Our Representative
Thr Supreme Court has issued notice to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments following a Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)-backed petition seeking the explanation as to whether large areas of Narmada Valley have gone into submergence by filling up the Sardar Sarovar dam up to the full reservoir level (FRL) without rehabilitating the project affected families (PAFs).

Historic Chikhalda, temples, mosques submerged, activists 'rescue' Gandhi idol

By Medha Patkar
The first farmer of Asia was born in Chikhalda, if one is to believe archaeological researchers. A historic village, 50 percent of its population is of Hindus and 50 percent of Muslims, yet it has always remained peaceful. Chikhalda has struggled to save water, land and people along Narmada river.