Skip to main content

India a poor spender of social safety net at 0.72% of GDP as against developing countries' average of 1.6%

By Rajiv Shah
Contrary to the notion spread by free market economists close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who believe huge state funds are being “wasted away” on social safety net programmes meant to benefit the poor, a World Bank report says, India spends just about 0.72 per cent of the Gross National Product (GDP) on them.
As against this, the report states, “developing countries spend an average of 1.6 per cent of GDP on social safety net programmes”, adding, “Low-income and middle-income countries devote approximately the same level of resources to social safety nets (1.5 and 1.6 percent of GDP, respectively), while richer countries spend 1.9 percent of GDP on average.”
The report – which identifies India as a “lower middle income group” country – finds that all other BRICS countries, except China, spend a higher proportion of funds on social safety net. Thus, Brazil spends 2.42 per cent, Russia 3.30 per cent, China 0.70 per cent, South Africa 3.51 per cent, and South Africa 3.51 per cent of GDP.
Interestingly, even the two of India’s neighbours – Pakistan and Bangladesh – spend a higher proportion on social safety net, 1.89 per cent and 1.09 per cent.
The report says, “Despite having fewer resources for social safety nets, some lower-income countries allocate considerably more funds than the 1.6 percent average for developing countries”. Thus, despite being lower income, Sierra Leone spends 4.8 per cent, and Lesotho 6.6 per cent.
The report, titled “The State of Social Safety Nets, 2015”, says, the coverage of social safety net “is particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where most of the global poor live”, the report adds, “In these regions, only one-tenth and one-fifth of the poorest 20 percent have access to social safety nets, respectively.”
Among the most important social safety net programmes of India, which the report identifies, are the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), covering 58 million beneficiaries, and school feeding programmes, covering 105 million beneficiaries.

Indian programmes

India’s other programmes included in the social safety net analysis are Janani Suraksha Yojana, Integrated Child Development Services, fee waiver for primary education and Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme. The report, however, does not include the food public distribution system as a social safety net programme, in which India spends 0.6 per cent of GDP.
While the report says that though “India has a strong legal framework, including Right to Food and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act”, and there is also “the Directive Principles of State Policy” , there is lack of “coherent social protection policy framework”, which “is not yet in place.”
Not only is the spending on social safety net programmes in India low, the government’s “roles and responsibilities” for implementing them “are often unclear and spread across multiple actors,” the report says.
Giving an example, the report says, “In India, urban health spans four ministries and nutrition spans six, with multiple levels involved within each. In particular, municipalities tend to vary significantly in accounting practices and their capacity to deliver services.”
It report further says, “Cities, provinces, and municipalities may each have their own programmes, which may not necessarily be consistent with national schemes.” It adds, “Limited analytical work has been conducted to document and appraise the nature and scale of urban social safety net interventions available at different governmental levels.”
---
Download report HERE

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.