Skip to main content

Modi's Make in India campaign will help trigger greater migration from rural to urban areas: Arvind Panagariya

Counterview Desk
Well-known pro-Narendra Modi economist Arvind Panagariya, whom critics label a "neo-liberal", has said that Government of India's (GoI's) latest policy changes -- ranging from Make in India campaign, to land and labour "reforms" -- are meant to trigger migration of people from rural to urban areas in search of jobs. Quoting a representative study, he says, "Indian farmers and their children recognize the superior prospects that faster-growing industry and services can potentially offer."
"According to a recent survey conducted by the NGO Lokniti, 62 percent of all farmers say that they would quit farming if they could get a job in the city. As for their children, 76 percent say that they would like to take a profession other than farming", Panagariya, who is vice-chairman of the new Narendra Modi avatar of Planning Commission, has said.
Panagariya in his maiden blog, "Job Creation in Industry and Services and Shared Prosperity", on the commission's new website, http://niti.gov.in/, says that while agriculture employs half of the workforce, which is "also significantly poorer than the other half, employed in industry and services", it contributes just 15 per cent of India's gross domestic product (GDP).
Pointing out that, in the long run, it is impossible to depend on agriculture for faster growth, Panagariya says, "Over long periods, experiences such as that of Madhya Pradesh during 2011-12 to 2013-14, whereby agriculture grew in excess of 20 percent, annually are rare."
He adds, "In the recorded Indian history, the fastest that agriculture has grown nationally over a continuous ten-year period has been under 5 percent. Put another way, in countries experiencing growth rates of 6 percent or more over long periods, overwhelmingly, industry and services have grown substantially faster than agriculture."
Giving examples of international experience how migrations have helped economies grow, Panagariya says, "Prosperity was widely shared in South Korea and Taiwan during the 1960s and 1970s because workers in agriculture could migrate to good jobs in industry and services."
He adds, "The share of industry and services in employment in South Korea rose from 41.4 percent in 1965 to 66 percent in 1980 and further to 81.7 percent in 1990. Correspondingly, the employment share of agriculture fell. A similar pattern was observed in Taiwan during the 1960s and 1970s and more recently China."
Insisting that this is exactly what Modi's Make in India campaign is seeking to aim at, Panagariya says, while "public investment in agriculture toward productivity-enhancing items such as micro irrigation, soil cards, effective extension services and improved seeds" is all right, the GoI's special attention has been towards industry and services for creating jobs outside the agricultural sector.
Panagariya claims, "labour law reforms" -- such as those undertaken in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which allow entrepreneurs to hire and fire workers at will -- too have been undertaken with this aim in view. Even the recently proposed land acquisition law is aimed at a similar purpose, he adds.
"A common fear aired is that the expansion of industry and services would divert land away from agriculture thereby undermining food security", Panagariya says, adding, "These views are aired without attention to the some key facts."
He says, "Area under non-agricultural use, which includes housing, industry, offices, roads, railways and other similar items, was only 8 percent in 2011-12, the latest year for which data are available. Fifteen years earlier, in 1997-98, this proportion was 7 percent."
"Even this 1 percentage point increase did not come at the expense of agriculture", Panagariya contends, adding, "Increased multiple cropping allowed the gross area sown to rise from 57.8 to 59.4 percent of the total land area between 1997-98 and 2011-12. And, of course, productivity increases allowed agricultural output to rise proportionately much more."

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

River interlinking to transfer tribals' drinking, irrigation water to Maharashtra industries

Counterview Desk
Top advocacy group, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), recently submitted its comments on the Damanganga–Vaitarna-Godavari Intrastate Link project to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), a project sought to be packaged by the Maharashtra chief minister as diversion of water from allegedly water surplus Konkan region to the drought-affected Marathwada region.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

RSS 'demonizing' Muslim demographics: Hindus' growth rate decline 2.5% lower

By Mohan Guruswamy*
The RSS is riding its old hobbyhorse again. Addressing the Yuva Dampati Sammelan attended by reportedly 2000 young couples organized by the RSS’ Kutumb Prabhodan in Agra on August 21, the RSS Sarsanghchalak, Mohan Bhagwat, apparently concerned about the “declining Hindu population” exhorted young Hindu couples to have more children.

Kashmirisation of India? Ayodhya communal harmony meet: Activists stopped, detained

Counterview Desk
In a joint statement, three civil rights organizations, Rihai Manch, National Alliance of People's Movements and Lok Rajniti Manch, and Socialist Party (India), have taken strong exception to the Uttar Pradesh government taking "preventive" steps against those seeking to hold a meeting on communal harmony at Ayodhya.