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

TRENDING

Corporate-political party nexus? Rise and rise of Gautam Adani under Modi regime

By Sandeep Pandey*  In last five years Rs 10,09,510 crore taken as loans by various companies from banks in India have been declared as Non Performing Assets, an euphemism for writing them off. Out of this State Bank of India alone wrote off Rs 2,04,486 crore. Only about 13% of the total written off amount was recovered. Identity of the defaulting borrowers, most of whom are influential corporates, is not revealed. Compare this to the loans taken by farmers. The names of defaulting farmers is displayed on walls in tehsil offices to shame them and some unlucky ones also land up in lock-ups there. On the contrary, a few corporate defaulters have fled the country and quite curiously the authorities didn’t seize their passports like they do with some dissenting intellectuals or activists booked under mostly false cases. Now consider the donations received by political parties in the form of electoral bonds. The identity of the donor need not be revealed even to the Election Commission or i

'Extremist' US Hindu global group funding hate against Indian Churches: NGO groups

Counterview Desk  As many as 14 civil rights and faith-based organizations in co-signing a letter to the US Senators, Representatives, State Governor, and other elected officials have demanded the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Justice should investigate into Texas-based organization Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) a fundraiser campaign for demolishing churches in India. Co-signed by Federation of Indian American Christian Organization in North America (FIACONA), North American Church of God, Southern Methodist University (SMU) Human Rights Program, Amnesty International - Dallas, World Without Genocide, Center for Pluralism, Genocide Watch, The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Limitless Church, Justice for All, Hindu for Human Rights, North Texas Peace Advocates, Good Citizens of DFW, and the North Texas Islamic Council, the letter has been sent to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; Representatives Michael C Burgess, Pat Fallon, Van Taylor, Terr

Carbon abatement to tackle climate change: India's failure has 'outpaced' its success

By Satorupa Karmakar*  On November 01, 2021, India took a pledge of reaching a carbon-zero stage by 2070, at the COP-26 held in Glasgow, UK. As ‘ambitious’ and dubious it may sound to some, with a short-term delay in renewable energy generation (which gained the pace post-September 2020) and drastic fall in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission level as COVID-19 emerged as a ‘necessary evil’ , the path of India’s clean energy mission could be seen being paved throughout this time. Currently ranked as the third largest GHG emitter in the world, India is projected to demand more energy in coming years due to a large population base (1.3 billion as per 2011 Census data) and primarily coal-based fast-growing economy. Rapid industrialisation in post-colonial developing countries like India, stimulated by a larger and cheaper pool of fossil fuels and labour-force depicted a continuous upsurge in temperature, heavy precipitation in some places with an overall declining rainfall and a burgeoning soc

BJP-RSS trap opposition in 'futile row' around Savarkar, freedom movement

By Prem Singh*  Everything in this article is just a repetition. I have been saying all this since 1991-92. It is obvious that the Congress and the RSS/BJP do not like my ideas. But most socialists, advocates of social justice and communists also dislike my thoughts. I watch their measures and efforts to deal with the present crisis with interest. I respect them and also participate. Yet, the fact it, we fall behind again and again, and the crisis goes ahead. Instead of being a solution-providers, we are seen to be a part of the crisis. How long will this last? Perhaps, if the new generation thinks differently, things may turn for better! 1 To say that modern Indian society and politics are passing through the deepest crisis ever will surely be a repetition. The crisis is deeper than the spreading of communal hatred we witness around us. In fact, the business of communal hatred is flourishing by taking its manure and water from the deep crisis. The crisis of neo-colonial slavery is pro

Demand to withdraw 'anti-environment, anti-adivasi' forest conservation rules 2022

By Gopinath Majhi*  The Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha, a coalition of adivasis and forest dwellers’ organisations, has sent a memorandum to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) raising serious concerns over Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022, notified by the Centre on June 29.  Contending that recent amendments and a host of executive orders/guidelines issued by the ministry undermine and dilute the FRA and threaten the rights of adivasis and forest dwellers, CSD demands that the 2022 FC Rules should be rescinded forthwith. Demanding withdrawal of such anti-people and anti-environment rules CSD Odisha organised a protest Dharana in front of State Assembly today on 25th November 2022 and submitted memorandums to the Hon’ble Governor of Odisha, Chief Secretary and Commissioner-cum-Secretary, ST & SC Development Department for conveying our concerns against the FC Rules 2022 to the Central Government for its withdrawal. The memorandums w

'Unprecedented rise' of attacks on students of Delhi university by ABVP condemned

Counterview Desk  A statement, sent as an email alert by "concerned teachers and students of Delhi University", referring to a protest organised against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad's (ABVP's), has alleged “brutal” attack on students and teachers demanding the release of civil rights leader Prof GN Saibaba and others from “unjust incarceration.” “We are seeing an unprecedented rise of attacks on the students of our university by the fascist ABVP goons. Almost every week we see our fellow students and activists getting attacked physically by the lackeys of this current Brahmanical Hindutva fascist regime”, the statement claimed. Text : A joint protest was organised by the students and teachers of Delhi University on 2nd of December against the brutal attack by ABVP goons. On 1st of December, activists of Bhagat Singh Chatra Ekta Manch (bsCEM), Lawyers Against Atrocities (LAA) and many other organisations as a part of Campaign Against State Repression (CASR),

Never-ending saga of sin tax: What if murder is taxed at Rs 1 crore, rape at Rs 5 crore?

By Moses Raj GS, Sangeetha Thomas*  What should have ended by June 30, 2022 as a 5 year experiment has resurfaced. The government has extended the levy of GST compensation cess by another 4 years till March 31, 2026. This cess, dubbed as the sin tax imposed on sin(ful) goods, is double the highest slab on indirect taxes. But only a few pay for it and the majority benefit, unendingly. The year 2017 is a landmark year for indirect taxes. With the grand idea of ‘One Nation, One Tax’ as a fiscal slogan subsuming all State based taxes such as octroi /entry tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), sales tax, taxes on lottery, betting and gambling, luxury tax, purchase tax, entertainment tax, property tax, professional tax and central sales tax into a single framework of Goods and Services Tax (GST) changed the contours of revenue collection. Complicating it further, India, with each State having its own size and revenue problems, has the most complex and highly centralised indirect tax structure in the w

Muslims, Dalits off Bangladesh border 'don't have acess to' water, power, farmland

Counterview Desk  Kirity Roy, secretary, civil rights group Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), in a letter to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, has revealed how, even after 75 years of Independence, Muslims and Dalits living next to the India-Bangladesh border do not have access to electricity, drinking water, even to their own land. Stating that the “horrible situation” has due to “illegal restriction on the agricultural activities” imposed by the Border Security Force (BSF), plunging “farmers and their families into deeper poverty”, the letter, referring to the plight of 1,200 people reside in the Changmari village, states, There are about 200 acres of cultivable lands out of 3,500 acres is situated beyond the border fence. “The ingress and egress of the farmers to their own agricultural land through the fencing gates are regulated by the BSF. The soil and climate of this region is very suitable for jute and maize cultivation”, it adds. Text: This letter is

Climate change 'can't be fought' with fancy issues: re-engineering cities, green energy

By Shankar Sharma*  "The Hindu" has carried a discussion paper in the form of an interview, Can poor countries afford to go green? Many such articles/ opinion pieces are making the grievous mistake of ignoring a fundamental question: what is the true cost of climate change (CC), and can poor countries, or for that matter any community, afford not to do all that is feasible to address the threats of  CC; instead of wasting our time and resources in endlessly deliberating on the so called "financial/economic costs" of the much needed transition. Such articles seem to focus only on high profile / glamorous/ debatable stuff, and ignore the basic issues which we all can do something or the other to minimise the impacts of CC in the short-term, and which may probably lead to long term solution. The opinion pieces/ discussion, as above, are guilty of conveniently ignoring the basic question: what is the fundamental cause of CC? The answer should be: the unsustainable dema

Nullifying environmental release, uproot GM mustard plants: 111 doctors urge Modi

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as many as 111 medical professionals , most of them senior doctors, has expressed concern with regard to human health implications of the genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (HT) mustard that got approved by Government of India, with indications that it has already been planted in at least six locations. Floated by Dr Rupal M Dalal, a Mumbai-based pediatrician, the letter, even as “welcoming” Modi’s “unprecedented push” towards non-chemical farming in the country for the benefit of environment, nature, consumers and farmers, it said, “HT GM mustard will push the country in the opposite direction.” “A herbicide tolerant crop will put an end to diversity-based cropping, which is important not just for soil health but human health and expose consumers and farmers to a toxic herbicide with serious long term health implications”, it added. The letter seeks the Prime Minister’s urgent intervention to not only withdraw th