Economic Development

  • 2005: after non-governance

    Last fortnight, I wrote about my visit to a governance graveyard called the Union ministry of environment and forests. I also promised to pen a few more thoughts on the subject. Given that the

  • No free lunches in India

    It seems that the people who matter in this country have a simple enough formula for life and liberty. We should open up the market, create opportunity for the organised industry, mix and stir, and

  • Agriculture: Don't fix is the government's fix

    It can be said that Union budget, 2007, is high on symbolism and intent. Most people in and close to power acknowledge that something is spoiling booming India s party price rise, agricultural

  • In credible India

    Sometimes, a fortnight can mirror a year. With the year-end approaching, a flashback is usually in order. But recent events have made completely clear to me where we are and where we are headed. <br>

  • Budget outlay to be Rs 6,600 crore

    Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said the next financial year's budget to be presented shortly would have an outlay of Rs 6,600 crore. The figure was thrice the amount for the first budget after he took over as Chief Minister three years ago. Addressing a Congress rally here, he said this was proof enough of his claims that Haryana had made unprecedented progress during the past three years under the Congress rule. He said it also indicated that he was taking the state in the right direction for making it the number one state in the country.

  • Focus on agriculture

    Economic growth is greatly dependent on the Government's policies in the farm sphere. Ranabir Ray Choudhury

  • Chidambaram needs to do a balancing act Run-up to budget 2008-09

    Ashok Dasgupta The Finance Minister is faced with conflicting demands from different quarters

  • Budget to focus on women, farmers

    THE upcoming Union Budget should have a special focus on women and farmers. This message was conveyed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi while speaking at a function in her constituency, Rae Bareli, on Wednesday, where she expressed certainty that finance minister P Chidambaram would "keep the common man's difficulties, especially faced by women and farmers, in mind while preparing the budget'. Speaking at a Bank of Baroda function to launch the 1,000th self-help group, Ms Gandhi was also quoted by agencies as saying that while 8-9% economic growth was not a mean achievement, real happiness would come when the common man's difficulties are wiped out. She added that health and education were keys for achieving real happiness. The comments are politically significant as many in the Congress have been saying much the same thing. At a pre-budget meeting with Mr Chidambaram recently, Congress leaders pointed out that 9% growth alone growth was unlikely to pay dividends for the party in an election year. They had asked the FM to focus on the

  • Sonia, PM all ears to farmers ahead of kisan budget

    AHEAD of the Union budget, which is expected to make major announcements for the farm sector, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met farmers' representatives from Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan here on Thursday. A large number of farmers from these states were given audience with Ms Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence in a bid to give her an opportunity to directly understand their problems, the party said. Congress leaders who attended the meeting said Ms Gandhi had assured them that "she would talk to PM and the FM' about their concerns. However, the Congress chief has already conveyed her message to the government that the budget should be aimed at the

  • MP lags in millennium development goals

    Madhya Pradesh is far away from achieving the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, if one takes into account a mid-term evaluation report prepared by a voluntary group, Triple 7 Report. The report --- christened as 'Mid-term status of Millennium Development Goals in Madhya Pradesh - A Peoples' report' makes a telling commentary as to what extent the state lags behind on eight development goals as set by the United Nations over seven years back. The UN on September 8, 2000 made a declaration for the millennium which stated that by 2015, eight goals of development vis-a-vas removing extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, empower of women and increasing gender equality, reducing infant mortality, improving health of mothers, fighting against diseases and protection of environment and its development would be achieved. A mid-term evaluation report on these goals in Madhya Pradesh, said that 44.77 lakh families in the state lived below poverty line, while 15.81 lakh families came in the circle of extreme poverty (quoting M P Economic Survey report 2006-07. The report quoting the National Sample Survey organization report, said that poverty in Madhya Pradesh declined from 37.43% to 21.4 per cent, which is far more than decline in poverty at national level from 26.1% to 21.8%. As per the latest report of the union government till July 2007, works towards strengthening livelihood of 1.15 lakh families in Bihar, 2.93 lakh families in Rajasthan, 95000 families in Andhra Pradesh had been undertaken but not families in Madhya Pradesh was getting this benefit. As per the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which provides guarantee for employment of 100 days per year to labourers, the state government as against issuing job cards to 43 lakh families, provided employment to merely 25.48 lakh families. The UN under its second millennium development goals had envisaged to increase enrollment of children in primary schools to 100 per cent by 2015. However, going by the present status of enrollment in Madhya Pradesh, it seemed unlikely that the state will achieve its goal by the given time period. A survey undertaken in 10 districts of the state under M P Shiksha Abhiyan in 2006-07, revealed that that the net enrollment ration of children in primary schools was at 84.5%. The report also said that 32% primary schools in the state had one primary teacher, while in 33.75% primary schools, there was no female teacher at all. The MDGs envisaged to reverse the trend of child mortality under five year by -3rd by 2015 but on this front also, the situation in Madhya Pradesh is far from satisfactory. The infant mortality in state stood at 76/1000 live births. Similarly, 2.4% of the children aged 12-24 years were not immunized against all prevalent diseases. The report also revealed a substantial drop on state government's expenditure on health which declined from 5.1% of the total budget in 2000-01 to 3.4% in 2004-05. The target to bring the infant mortality rate down to 53.14% hardly seems to be achievable. The report quoting National Family Health Survey III, said that the status of malnuitrion in Madhya Pradesh increased by 6.3%, going up to 60.3% the highest in the country. Similarly, the maternal mortality rate in the state stood at 379/1000, one of the highest in the country. As per the millennium development goals, the MMR and IMR in the state are essentially to be reduced to 220/1000 and 62/1000 respectively by 2011. By Krishna K Jha

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