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

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

India's "welcome" proposal to impose sin tax on aerated drinks is part of to fight growing sugar consumption

By Amit Srivastava* A proposal to tax sugar sweetened beverages like tobacco in India has been welcomed by public health advocates. The proposal to increase sin taxes on aerated drinks is part of the recommendations made by India’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the parliament of India.

Turkey meet tries to 'resurrect' Maoism, seeks to apply people’s war concept universally

By Harsh Thakor*  An International Maoist Symposium was organized by Umut Publishing on 6-7th April in Turkey commemorating 130th birthday of Mao Tse Tung. On the first day of the symposium two sessions were staged. The first session started with Volkan Yaraşır’s presentation on “Dialectics of the Chinese Revolution and Mao Zedong”.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).