Skip to main content

Rural Gujarat's grim story: 95% household earners' income is less than Rs 10,000

By Rajiv Shah
Painting a grim picture of Gujarat’s rural areas, the latest Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), released on Friday, says that a staggering 94.81 per cent of rural households reported their maximum income below Rs 10,000 per month. Significantly, this is against the all-India average of 91.71 per cent, and worse than all 21 major states with the sole exception of Telangana (95.32 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (96.8 per cent).
The poor state of incomes of the highest earning member of Gujarat’s rural households comes amidst Government of India seeking to project Gujarat as a “model” state, where agricultural incomes have allegedly risen sharpest in the country. In fact, for nearly a decade, under Narendra Modi’s chief minisership, the state government kept talking about “double digit” rate of agricultural growth, despite expert view that the calculation was based on taking a poor monsoon year as the base year.
Pro-Modi economists such as Prof Bibek Deboy even tried to make out that the rural poverty in Gujarat has come down much faster than most other Indian states. He is reported to have said that the “real story” of development of Gujarat is in the rural areas. The SECC was conducted during 2011-12, with some states completing the data collection in 2013, due to a lengthy process of seeking objections on collected data.
What is shocking for Gujarat is, the percentage rural households reporting highest earning member with incomes between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000, is also one of the lowest in India – just 11.5 per cent households as against the all-India average of 17.18 per cent. Of the 21 major states, just one state, Telangana, reported that its households had still lower number of highest earning member with income between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 (7.33 per cent).
However, ironically, if the SECC data are to be believed, there is a far fewer proportion of rural households in Gujarat with the highest earning member earning less than Rs 5,000 (45 per cent). This is against the all-India average of 74.49 per cent, with only two states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana reporting lesser proportion of households with incomes less than Rs 5,000 – 29.26 per cent and 40.02 per cent, respectively. The all-India average is 74.49 per cent.
There is, however, little explanation in the SECC data, released by high-profile team consisting of Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, minister for rural development Birender Singh and chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, about the rural households which do not fall in the three categories of rural household incomes whose data have been released – household heads having income less than Rs 5,000, between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000, and more than Rs 10,000.
The SECC data show further that Gujarat has the least percentage of rural households living in rural areas (59.52 per cent) compared to other states with the sole exception of Tamil Nadu (57.53 per cent). Gujarat’s rural illiteracy is 31.01 per cent illiteracy (national average 35.73 per cent). Six states have a lesser proportion of illiterates – Kerala 11.38 per cent, Himachal Pradesh 22.05 per cent, Uttarakhand 25.41 per cent, Tamil Nadu 26.38 per cent, and Maharashtra 26.96 per cent.
The SECC data also show that for 41.09 per cent of Gujarat’s rural households cultivation is the main source of income, as against the all-India average of 30.1 per cent. Then, there are 43.28 Gujarat’s rural households which depend on manual labour as the main source of household income, as against the all-India average of 54.14 per cent.
Gujarat’s just 1.29 per cent rural households depend on domestic work as the main source of income (all India average 2.5 per cent); 2.49 per cent depend on own non-agricultural enterprises (all-India average 1.61 per cent); and 11.38 per cent depend on “other” rural activities (all-India average 14.01 per cent). While there is no explanation of what “other” could be, an analysis of the data from all the states suggests one of the major sources of income could be fisheries.

Comments

RUPE said…
There appear to be errors in one of the SECC tables on the site. The following is the problem table, from which, perhaps, the data for the above article has been drawn:

http://www.secc.gov.in/staticReportData?getReportId=S_19

The following seems to be correct:

http://www.secc.gov.in/staticSummary

--RUPE
Rajiv Shah said…
Yes, I also think so that there is something wrong with the income data. But the link that you have provided does not provide income factor at all.

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

'Allow critical thinking': SAARC-sponsored varsity teachers support protesting students

By Our Representative
Teachers of the high-profile South Asian University (SAU), a New Delhi-based international institute sponsored by eight member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – have supported “peacefully protesting students and other citizens” against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.