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I am neither an economist nor a statistician. As an ordinary human being who during his working life span of a little over 40 years from the middle of 1950s, moved to a number of India's states, can say that poverty has indeed declined. To me it appears that not a single factor is responsible. A combination of better road, rail, telecom connectivity, money order economy, increase in aspiration levels, investment in agriculture as well as industry, improvement in education levels, better skills and so on are collectively responsible. Instead of investing money in Food Security, if the same is invested in improving agriculture, its supply chain etc. the benefits though slightly delayed, will be much more. We will not have to depend on an inefficient / ineffective governmental mechanism. I am not sure how much actual work of a sustainable nature is produced in return for the money spent. Given the experience of dealing with government apparatchiks, one can be pardoned for being cynical. Till our government comes into the "service" mode from the "Rulership" mode, lesser the dependence on the government, the better ! At election time it is natural for any ruling party to claim that any progress made by the society is due to only one limb of the society viz. the government. We naturally therefore treat such claims with the amount of respect that they deserve.

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05/08/2013 13:09:40

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