Skip to main content

Indian states "neglecting" tribal interests are also highly rated for Ease of Doing Business by Modi, World Bank

Jhabua tribals
By Birendra Nayak*
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on December 4, 2015: “Reaffirmed my belief in equal progress of all states. Strides of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh & Odisha in ‘Ease of doing business’ are great.” This reaction may have come a bit late.
In fact, this information has been available since mid-September, when the World Bank Group and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) released the report titled “Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms” wherein Indian states have been ranked according to the Ease Of Doing Business.
The states mentioned in the Prime Minister’s tweet are in the list of top ten states headed by Prime Minister’s native state Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Odisha are ranked first, fourth and seventh, respectively. The other states in this list are Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharastra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh ranked second, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively.
This list of top ten states has promptly attracted attention of media as it contains seven NDA ruled states (click HERE), viz., Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajsthan and Maharastra. But what appears to have escaped the media attention is that this list too contains seven states with significant tribal population; the percentage of tribal population here is higher than the national average of 8.61%.
These states are Gujarat, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajsthan, Odisha and Maharastra, where the ratios of the tribal population to the state population respectively are 14.75%, 26.20%, 30.62%, 21.08%, 13.47%, 22.84% and 09.35%. The total tribal population of these seven states alone constitutes 67.17% of the total tribal population of the country.
Interestingly, of the above seven states, five states, namely Gujarat, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajsthan, Odisha had appeared in the list of top nine states, ranked according to the Ease of Doing Business, in an earlier report titled “Survey on Business Regulatory Environment For Manufacturing: State Level Assessment” prepared by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited (DTTIPL) and released in March 2014, by the Planning Commission of India. It is not known whether the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had ever tweeted anything similar to Narendra Modi.
Further, of these five states, except Gujarat, the rest four states, namely, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajsthan and Odisha, belong to the category of ‘least developed states’ according to Raghuram Rajan Panel Report on State backwardness, whereas Gujarat, is in the category of ‘less developed states’ (click HERE).
It may be mentioned that Jharkhand, which appears in the top ten states of Ease of Doing Business, according to the World Bank-CII report, is in the group of least developed states, according to Rajan’s classification. Thus, the states which are least/less developed and significantly tribal dominate the list of top ten states in ease of doing business.
Were the tribal dominated states not favourable to business and industry, in the post independent India, prior to the discovery of the phrase ‘Ease of Doing Business’? Had it not been so, how could most of the mineral based industries and hydel power projects, largely in public sector, be set up in the tribal areas? But what were the consequences?
The most visible consequence was large-scale displacement. Between 1951 and 1990, as per the Planning Commission Report, in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Orissa, 21.3 million people were displaced out of which 8.54 million (40 per cent) were tribals and of those only 2.12 million (24.8 per cent) tribals could be resettled (click HERE).
 It may appear a strange coincidence that these very states, albeit in place of Bihar, Jharkhand and with Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, currently figure in the list of top states for the Ease of Doing Business. In each of these very Ease of Doing Business states, as the Statistical Profile of Tribes in India 2013 and the Socio-Economic and Caste Census-2011 reveal, the proportion of rural tribal population below poverty line is higher than all India average (47.4%) and the percentage of tribal population suffering deprivation in some form or other is higher than 70%.
Thus emerges a contrasting scenario: The states where neglect of tribal population is so highly pronounced could present themselves as quite enticing for business!
May be these states in their eagerness to be liberated from the epithet of ‘less developed’ or ‘least developed’, have thought that providing an environment of ease of doing business would push their states ahead, and as a consequence bring about improvement in the condition of the tribal people.
But will it really happen? An apprehension does lurk in view of the following: The World Bank-CII report, in its Executive Summary, states, “It is important to ensure that reforms are actually being felt by the beneficiaries, the private sector”, and provides in the last chapter of the Report “some suggestions on methods to engage the private sector.” That is, the real beneficiary of the Ease of Doing Business has to be the private sector.
On the other hand, another World Bank report (“Poverty and Social Exclusion in India”, 2011, p 67), on the basis of Planning Commission’s observation, states that the “non-tribal outsiders who converge into these areas corner both land and the new economic opportunities in commerce and petty industry.”
Further, the High Level Committee on Socio-economic, Health, and Educational Status of Tribal Communities of India (“Report of the High Level Committee on Socio-economic, Health, and Educational Status of Tribal Communities of India, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, May, 2014 p 31), while drawing attention towards the surge in entry of the private corporations into the tribal areas in the last twenty years, during the Liberalization-Privatization-Globalization (LPG) regime points out as to how the “laws and rules that provide protection to tribes are being routinely manipulated and subverted to accommodate corporate interests”.
In such environment when the interest of tribal communities is put on back burner to serve the interest of corporate outsiders, and Ease of Doing Business is to provide further opportunities for the entry of private sector, one is afraid if the tribal communities already living hard life will not slip into living harder life.
---
*Professor of Mathematics (Retd), Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”