Editor's Picks(1-4 of 4)
The corporate govt of India has nothing to do with poverty reduction!
Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time, Chapter: Nine Hundred Thirty One
Skype ID: palash.biswas44
Our well being is linked to growth story to defend the black money economy in India.India`s growth story has not reduced poverty because of exclusion and excommunication of the majority population.The production system is destroyed and rural India is killed while the managers of Indian sensex economy is doing everything to ensure the recle system of black money all on the name of foreign capital inflow which boosts the growth rate, not the production system, mind you.In fact, the corporate government of India has nothing to with poverty reduction. The government expenditure is meant to expand the market only.Poverty is the deprivation of food, shelter, money and clothing that occurs when people cannot satisfy their basic needs. Poverty can be understood simply as a lack of money, or more broadly in terms of barriers to everyday life.Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the state of severe deprivation of basic human needs, which commonly includes food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care, education and information. Relative poverty is defined contextually as economic inequality in the location or society in which people live.For most of history poverty had been mostly accepted as inevitable as traditional modes of production were insufficient to give an entire population a comfortable standard of living.After the industrial revolution, mass production in factories made wealth increasingly more inexpensive and accessible. Of more importance is the modernization of agriculture, such as fertilizers, in order to provide enough yield to feed the population.The World Bank estimated 1.29 billion people were living in absolute poverty in 2008. Of these, about 400 million people in absolute poverty lived in India and 173 million people in China. In terms of percentage of regional populations, sub-Saharan Africa at 47% had the highest incidence rate of absolute poverty in 2008. Between 1990 and 2010, about 663 million people moved above the absolute poverty level. Still, extreme poverty is a global challenge; it is observed in all parts of the world, including the developed economies.The supply of basic needs can be restricted by constraints on government services such as corruption, debt and loan conditionalities and by the brain drain of health care and educational professionals. Strategies of increasing income to make basic needs more affordable typically include welfare, economic freedom, and providing financial services. Today, poverty reduction is a major goal and issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank.Poverty in India is widespread, with the nation estimated to have a third of the world's poor. In 2010, World Bank stated, 32.7% of the total Indian people fall below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 per day (PPP) while 68.7% live on less than US$ 2 per day.According to 2010 data from the United Nations Development Programme, an estimated 37.2% of Indians live below the country's national poverty line. A 2010 report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) states that 8 Indian states have more poor people than 26 poorest African nations combined which totals to more than 410 million poor in the poorest African countries.The latest UNICEF data shows that one in three malnourished children worldwide are found In India, whilst 42 percent of the nation's children under five years of age are underweight. It also shows that a total of 58 percent of children under five surveyed were stunted. Rohini Mukherjee, of the Naadi foundation-one of the NGO's that published the report-stated India is "doing worse than sub-Saharan Africa,"The latest UNICEF data shows that one in three malnourished children worldwide are found In India, whilst 42 percent of the nation's children under five years of age are underweight. It also shows that a total of 58 percent of children under five surveyed were stunted. Rohini Mukherjee, of the Naadi foundation-one of the NGO's that published the report-stated India is "doing worse than sub-Saharan Africa,"
Now, poverty line in India, along with the other related issues, has almost become a mysterious concept. This is primarily because there are too many people, who know too little about poverty, speaking too much about it.
The reduction in poverty will be slower if the economic growth is not brought back on high growth track, said Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.On the other hand, digital citizenship is promoted with biometric UID to kill the sovereignty of the citizen. Finance Minister P.Chidambaram on Saturday, described government’s ambitious direct cash transfer scheme as “nothing less than magical”, saying the move is aimed at plugging the loopholes in the delivery mechanism and ensure that poor get complete benefits of government schemes.Explaining the details of direct cash transfer scheme and its benefits to party workers, Chidamabaram termed the scheme as “nothing less than magical”, according to MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre in Mumbai.
Contrarily,US President Barack Obama warned on Friday that Republicans would give Americans a lump of coal for Christmas if they kill his plan to raise $1.6 trillion from higher taxes on the wealthy.
But the most powerful Republican in Washington, House speaker John Boehner, warned that talks on averting a year-end tax and spending crunch, which could tip the economy back into recession, were going nowhere.
Obama traveled to a toy factory in Pennsylvania to press his case for a plan to stop the US economy tipping off a " fiscal cliff" when automatic tax hikes and spending cuts come into force on January 1.
The government is likely to shoot down the Department of Financial Services' (DFS) plan to appoint common banking correspondent (BC) companies for transferring cash to poor people and replace it with a country-wide network of 'micro ATMs', as it seeks to finalise the last mile payment architecture for cash transfers.ET reports.
In a meeting on Monday evening, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani, and Planning Commission officials met Finance Minister P Chidambaram to share their reservations about the common banking correspondent model. An official who attended the meeting told ET that it was agreed in-principle to junk this model but a final decision will be taken by the Finance Minister.
In a SMS to ET, Ramesh confirmed the development. "The DFS model is now history. Women SHG, Ashas, anganwadi workers, post offices, teachers, kirana stores, fertiliser shops, etc, can now be BCs," he said. Banking correspondents are individuals who work as banks agents in areas that don't have branches. A banking correspondent company manages these agents.
Republicans have rejected Obama's first offer to end the stalemate as "ridiculous" and negotiations between the two sides have hit a roadblock with just a month to go, punctuated by the holiday season, until the deadline.
"The sooner Congress gets this done, the sooner our economy will get a boost," Obama said, pushing his plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class but to raise rates on American families earning $250,000 or more.
"If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January 1," Obama said.
"That's sort of like the lump of coal you get for Christmas. That's a Scrooge Christmas."
Republicans have complained that Obama's offer -- presented to Boehner by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner -- was a rehash of his previous budget request.
"It was not a serious proposal. So right now we're almost nowhere," Boehner told reporters on Friday, complaining that Obama's offer would not shave off sufficient government spending.
Republicans had said the Obama plan would only cut an extra $400 billion in government spending, but an administration official who described the plan to AFP said the figure would be $600 billion over 10 years.
The savings would be accrued by saving $350 billion on the Medicare health program for the elderly and $250 billion in savings on non-health mandatory programs, the official said.
Republicans say they are ready to raise more revenue from wealthy Americans, but want to do so by closing tax loopholes and limiting deductions rather than raising income tax rates.
"Increasing tax rates draws money away from our economy that needs to be invested in our economy to put the American people back to work," Boehner said.
"It's the wrong approach."
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Friday, the top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, proposed higher Medicare premiums for the wealthy, a rise in the Medicare eligibility age and a slowing of cost of living increases for programs like Social Security, the national pension program for the elderly.
"Those are the kinds of things that would get Republicans interested in new revenue," he said, but insisted that tax rates could not be raised, but that extra funding must be found by closing loopholes.
Obama said such an approach would not raise sufficient money to make a meaningful dent in the deficit.
The White House and the Republicans must reach an agreement by the end of the year that lowers the ballooning US deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years, as mandated in a poison pill deal agreed last year.
If they don't, tax cuts in place since the presidency of George W. Bush will expire and $500 billion in across-the-board spending cuts would kick in, possibly sending the economy slumping into another recession.
Obama warned that if no deal is done, the average family would pay $2,000 in extra taxes next year.
"It's not acceptable to me, and I don't think it's acceptable to you, for just a handful of Republicans in Congress to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they don't want tax rates on upper-income folks to go up," Obama told a crowd of 350 people at the factory.
Besides resisting tax hikes on families earning over $250,000 a year, Republicans want action on reform of entitlement programs such as Social Security.
The White House proposal also features new stimulus spending and a permanent end to congressional control over federal borrowing limits -- the issue at the heart of last year's spending fight.
Obama campaigned on the basis of making wealthy Americans pay more of their "fair share" in taxes, and appears to believe his re-election win gives him something approaching a mandate.
Nancy Pelosi, leader of House Democrats, said that "elections have consequences."
"The president campaigned, he made it very clear that he was supporting tax cuts to the middle class, that he wanted the expiration of the tax cuts for the high end and the American people know that debate, they voted for him."
A usual suspect is our everyday TV news anchor, who feigns gross outrage at the insensitivity of the poverty estimates, irrespective of the number in question. This fake outrage – and it is fake because no one seems to have taken the trouble to understand why at all do we have poverty estimates and how do we calculate them- on the part of media routinely misinforms and misguides the readers about this very important issue.
One big casualty, for example, is the reputation of Late Prof. Suresh Tendulkar, one of the most important scholars on poverty in the world. The way Tendulkar Committee’s efforts are manhandled in casual chats, it appears as if the legendary economist had an ulterior interest in keeping India poor! But, I wonder if people know that before Tendulkar revised them upwards,India’s poverty line was Rs 12 for rural areas and Rs 17 for urban areas.
Read more: http://forbesindia.com/blog/economy-policy/indias-poverty-estimates-dont-just-get-outraged-understand-them/#ixzz2DouYVpYc
Several pending issues got resolved in last week and most important among them was the successful conclusion of the Greece bail out talks.Economic Times reports.
The market across the world rejoiced at this event and the Sensex too zoomed by 305 points on Tuesday.
However, the wrangling on the US fiscal cliff and EU budget still continues and therefore, the investors need to keep a close watch on these developments.
After several days of washout, the Parliament logjam was ended after govt agreed to discuss the FDI issue "with voting at the end of discussion". The hope that govt will be able to "manage" this vote helped to improve the market sentiments. As of now, the discussion and voting is expected on Dec 4-5 and the market may get nervous at that time once again.
Short covering triggered by the futures & options (F&O) cycle ending on Nov 29 was another factor that helped the bullish sentiments.
The bullish fervour continued despite a weak GDP growth (ie as expected, Indian GDP for Jul-Sep period has grown at 5.3% compared to 5.5% growth in the Apr-June period) and the new F&O series has also started well on Nov 30.
Since the market is "riding on hopes" now, it may continue its bullish bias and hit new highs in this week. On a domestic front, it is a relatively data light week, However, the sales volume figures of automobile companies, subscription details of telecom companies, etc may induce sector/stock specific volatility.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will complain to the Election Commission against the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s announcement on direct cash subsidy transfer scheme, saying it violates the code of conduct in view of the Gujarat elections.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist), too, has criticised the Congress for the “blatant misuse” of the party symbol in announcing the scheme.
Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had announced the scheme for issue of scholarships and pensions by using Aadhar-enabled bank accounts for below poverty line families. To be implemented in 51 districts across 16 States from January 1, 2013, fertilizer and food subsidies have not been included in the list of cash transfers for now.
"If we don't bring the GDP growth back (on track) up, the rate of poverty reduction will go down," Ahluwalia said during panel discussion here.
He further said that the GDP growth in the first half of the year (2012-13) is 5.4 per cent and if this would continue then we would have a very poor performance (this fiscal)."
This rate was lower than the 7.3 per cent clocked in April-September period in 2011-12.
According to the Planning Commission estimates, the rate of poverty reduction was 0.8 percentage point per year during 10 years till 2004. This shot up to two percentage point per year during the seven year till 2011.
"If you look at the last seven years, between since 2004 and 2011, percentage of people below the poverty line declined by two percentage point per year. In the 10 years before 2004-05, the poverty was declining at the rate of 0.8 percentage point every year," he said.
According to Ahluwalia, higher growth has resulted in a quantum jump in the real wages during the 11th Five Year Plan spanning from 2007 to 2012.
"In the period after 2007, real wages have gone four times faster than in the previous period. It is simply not correct that nobody is benefiting (because of high economic growth)," he said.
He said that in the last seven years, the government has done a good job as rate of poverty reduction has been high amid good growth in GDP.
Inclusive growth in India would be possible only when people have higher income levels and as a result they will get social justice, Ahluwalia said.
He also underlined the need for upgrading skills of people so that they can get higher income jobs in non-agriculture areas in rural areas.
From a high over 9 per cent GDP growth for many years prior to the 2008 crisis, the economy grew 6.5 per cent last year and is projected by analysts to slow down further to a decadal low of 5.5 per cent or even lower this fiscal.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has taken quick follow-up action to implement the decisions on direct cash transfers announced earlier this week, making it clear that it was on the government’s priority list.
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterji has written to nine secretaries of the Union government asking them to “get down to the immediate task of operationalising direct cash transfers in the identified schemes in your Department.”
The ambitious scheme, which is scheduled for an initial launch in 51 districts on January 1, 2013, aims to shift the state’s social entitlements — including fuel, food and fertilizer subsidies — into a cash format. To begin with, people entitled to subsidised LPG cylinders will be given money to cover the difference from the market price. The scheme is expected to be a major feature on the Congress’ poll plank in the 2014 general election.
Mr. Chatterji’s letter comes just days after the first meeting of the National Committee on Direct Cash Transfers chaired by the Prime Minister on November 26, which thrashed out the details of the scheme. “The emphasis should be on having a seamless and trouble free rollout of the programme, first in 51 districts and subsequently as per the agreed rollout plan,” said the letter.
One of the two key pillars of the scheme is the Aadhaar programme, whose unique identification systems will be used to authenticate beneficiaries of the cash transfer, and Ministry teams will meet weekly to complete the necessary digitisation. “The main issue which you need to focus on is ensuring that you have a complete list of beneficiaries in digitised form seeded with Aadhaar numbers for your schemes. Digitisation of beneficiaries’ database is critical for rolling out direct cash transfers and maximum effort on this needs to be put in at the state and district levels,” the letter said.
Mr. Chatterji also wrote to Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani — who runs the Aadhaar programme — asking him to supply dedicated personnel to assist each of the nine implementing Ministries in the task of database digitisation.
The other key pillar is the banking infrastructure needed to implement direct cash transfers. On this, the PMO wrote to the Department of Financial Services, whose Secretary heads the Financial Inclusion Committee. A meeting will be immediately held to oversee the smooth opening of bank accounts by the beneficiaries, the linking of these accounts with Aadhaar numbers and facilitating the post office network and business correspondents who will dispense the cash at the grass-roots level.
According to Thakre, Chidambaram also said the the cash subsidy move is aimed at ensuring that the benefits of government programmes reach the masses.
Through the cash transfer scheme the government plans to transfer cash benefits of over two dozen central schemes directly to beneficiary accounts.
The scheme will be launched in 51 districts on January 1.
“The current high fiscal and current account deficits, coupled with low investment, have forced us to take some stringent measures,” Chidambaram told a closed-door election workshop held here for the 2014 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections, according to Thakre.
Thakre said the Finance Minister also expressed the confidence that these measures will help the economy come out of the present tough phase and that the next two years would see the economy, led by the Congress government, marching ahead with speed.
“Chidambaram informed the participants about the dire present economic situation and issues like inflation, apart from the problems arising out of the high fiscal and current account deficits,” Thakre said.
Thakre was briefing the media about the deliberations at the workshop organised by the state Congress unit.
Chidambaram told the partymen that the country maintained a growth rate of over 9 per cent during 2004-08 under the UPA-I tenure, despite global recession.
During the NDA regime, the situation was exactly the opposite, Chidambaram said.
At present, there is a need to give an impetus to capital investment in the country and for taking hard fiscal decisions, Chidambaram said.
The period of reduced expenditure would remain till March, 2013, the Finance Minister said.
Addressing the workshop, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the Opposition parties have so far opposed the government policies “just for the sake of opposing them“.
Citing an example, he said when Rajiv Gandhi sowed the seeds of the “computer revolution”, the Opposition ridiculed him. “However, India now occupies pride of place on the global map owing to Rajiv’s decision,” Khurshid said.
“Congress is also under attack over 2G and coal allocation issues. It is said that there was a loss to the national exchequer due to the Congress leadership. But this is not true,” he said.
The government has given impetus to social and industrial development by ensuring the mobile phone reaches every hand, Khurshid said.
Union Minister of Minority Affairs K.Rahman informed the workshop participants about the measures taken by Congress to resolve issues faced by minorities.
“We won’t budge from our resolve despite the numerous allegations against Congress. We know that our decisions are in the national interest,” the minister said.
Around 200 office-bearers at the event included Maharashtra Congress ministers, MPs and legislators.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who also addressed the day-long conclave, explained the link between foreign investment and economy. “There is a close link between foreign investment and strengthening of the economy,” Chavan said.
Justifying the decision on FDI in retail, Chavan said it is a misconception that small shops will face closure due to the decision. “Nowhere in the world has this happened,” he said. The decision would benefit farmers and end-consumers, he added.
The workshop was organised in view of party president Sonia Gandhi’s directive that Congress should effectively counter “false allegations” levelled by the Opposition.
Addressing reporters in New Delhi on Thursday, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said two senior Ministers had announced the scheme at the Congress headquarters on Monday even though Parliament was in session. He claimed that the party had been told that the scheme would now be implemented from April 1, next year, instead of January 1 as announced earlier.
“This only shows how hurriedly the whole exercise was done and without home work,” he said, adding that the BJP would totally oppose the scheme if it were to replace PDS.
Earlier in the day, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the Congress had used its party office and symbol to announce the scheme — it was a blatant misuse of the party symbol and could fall under corrupt practices.
According to Mr. Yechury, the announcement had come when the election process in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh was on. He referred to the Election Commission rules relating to offences and corrupt practices.
He said the direct cash transfer was being proposed to be carried out under the ‘Aadhar’ or Unique Identification (UID) card scheme but the Bill to give UID legal sanctity was yet to be passed by Parliament.
“The Parliamentary Standing Committee has rejected the UID Bill and asked the government to come up with a fresh one…When the Bill has not been approved, the announcement about it in the cash transfer scheme is more in the nature of propaganda. Without legal sanctity to this Bill, any such scheme will not be legal,” Mr. Yechury said.
Mr. Yechury said when inflation was high, the cash being transferred would actually cut subsidies and fetch lesser and lesser amounts of food grains or other essential items meant under the scheme.
The rules “are weighted against the poor, in favour of the UPA-II Government’s obsessive commitment to cut subsidies to the working people,” Mr. Yechury said, adding that it would ultimately reduce subsidy and dismantle the public distribution system.
1 Dec, 2012, 08.57AM IST, Soma Banerjee & Shruti Choudhury,ET Bureau
Aadhaar: The challenges being faced by Nandan Nilekani
At 57, Nandan Nilekani has a lot to his credit: a bluechip career, a billion-dollarplus net worth, a star-adviser tag... But no assignment has been bigger than the one he is currently handling, rolling out Aadhaar. The final assessment on him will be hugely influenced by the success, or failure, of this crucial scheme. ET list the challenges:
Poverty in India
|Poverty Headcount Ratio (2010)|
|Poverty Trend||World Bank|
|Live less than $1.25 a day||32.7% (400 million)|
|Live less than $2 a day||68.7% (841 million)|
|Live less than $2.5 a day||81.1% (992 million)|
|Live less than $4 a day||93.7% (1,148 million)|
|Live less than $5 a day||96.3% (1,179 million)|
Map of world poverty by country, showing percentage of