Skip to main content

Model Gujarat fails to spend "enough" on social sector, especially education, reveals RBI's state budgets study

By Rajiv Shah
Is Gujarat government refusing to spend enough on social sector in accordance with its capacity, as reflected in its high value of the gross state domestic product (GSDP)? It would seem so, if the latest data, released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its “State Finances: A Study of State Budgets 2915-16”, are any indication.
The RBI study has found that, among the 18 states bracketed as “non-special category”, Gujarat’s spending in social sector as percentage of GSDP is one of the lowest in India – just about 5.9 per cent, as against the national average of 7.4 per cent.
Among the 18 non-special category states, the RBI data show, as many as 14 of them spend a higher on social sector as percentage of GSDP than .Two poorer states – Chhattisgarh and Bihar – are the best performers. They spend 15 and 12.3 per cent of GSDP respectively.
Interestingly, RBI has provided details of Gujarat’s failure to spend enough on the social sector as percentage of GSDP at a time when its overall social sector expenditure has been going up over the years. Thus, as percentage of total expenditure, Gujarat government spent 42.1 per cent in 2015-16, which is the highest since 2001.
However, a comparison with other states suggests that Gujarat’s spending on social sector as percentage of total budgetary expenditure is less than as many as 11 of the 18 non-special category states, with Chhattisgarh (56.8 per cent) and Jharkhand (49.3 per cent) spending the highest proportion of amount.
Relatively poor spending on social sector has come about, suggest RBI data, mainly because of Gujarat’s failure to spend enough on education – just about 15 per cent of the total budgetary spending. This is lower than 12 other states. The states which spend the most on education are – Chhattisgarh (19.4 per cent) and Maharashtra (19.1 per cent).
Interestingly, Gujarat’s expenditure on the health and family welfare is the second highest among the non-special category states, 5.9 per cent of the total budgetary expenditure, next to Rajasthan, 6.8 per cent.
The RBI study believes that higher government spending on public goods such as health and education has “a positive impact on per capita GSDP growth and reduced poverty.”, adding, the data suggest that “expenditure on the social sector is associated with large positive externalities.”
Noting that most of the expenditure made by states should go into social sector into creating social infrastructure, the study insists, “A major portion of social sector expenditure has been in the form of revenue expenditure rather than capital outlay.”
It regrets, in the social sector, “expenditure on physical infrastructure shows greater variability, with energy being the most volatile component.”
It believes, “The major concern is not only the deceleration of developmental capital outlay on social and economic services, but an absolute decline in capital outlay on services like family welfare, water supply and sanitation, housing, food storage and warehousing, industry and minerals and science, technology and environment.”
“As a consequence”, it says, “Social sector expenditure, which had increased in 2014-15, is budgeted to decline in 2015-16 in as many as 21 states. This does not augur well for the quality of human development.”

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.”