Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2013

Gujaratis' purchasing power has been rising at a much slower pace than most states: Official data

By Rajiv Shah
New data released by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), in the report “Key Indicators of Household Consumer Expenditure in India”, released in June 2013, have suggested that the purchasing power of the people, as reflected in the monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE), has been rising at a much slower pace than most states of India. As a result, Gujaratis, on an average, are forced to spend a higher percentage on food items, as against non-food items, which are a secondary priority of people. Non-food items, according to the NSSO, include transport, fuel, light, clothing, footwear, education, medical bills, entertainment, paan and cigarettes or bidis, and durables.
The figures show that whether it is the rural areas or the urban areas, Gujarat’s households spent more on food items than the all-India average in 2011-12. Thus, as against 52.9 per cent spending on food items in rural India, Gujarati households’ spent 54.9 per cent, suggesting a clear gap of thre…

Wages in Gujarat are one of the lowest in the country, say National Sample Survey data, released last week

By Rajiv Shah
The latest National Sample Survey (NSS) data have suggested that Gujarat's regular wage earners, salaried classes and the casual workers are being paid one of the lowest wages as compared to most Indian states. While Gujarat may claim to have the highest pace of urbanisation in India, shockingly, as against the all-India average per day earning of urban regular wage earners and salaried persons of Rs 450 per day, in Gujarat it is a poor Rs 320. This, if the NSS, which carried out its survey in 2011 and 2012, is to be believed, is the lowest compared to anywhere else in the country.
In fact, even the so-called backward states offer better wages to its salaries employees and regular workers. In Bihar, it is Rs 412, in Chhattisgarh Rs 323, in Assam Rs 607, in Madhya Pradesh Rs 436, in Odisha 432, in Rajasthan Rs 417, and in Uttar Pradesh Rs 483. Regular wages and salaries in “comparable states”, which compete with Gujarat for achieving developmental goals, are -- Maharash…

The iron pieces collected from farmers cannot be used for building the Sardar statue, "clarifies" top Modi aide

By Rajiv Shah
In a major setback to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's proposal to collect iron from farmers all over India to build the Statue of Unity in the name of Sardar Patel in the downstream of the Narmada dam, a a top aide of the Gujarat CM has said that the iron from the farmers “cannot be used for constructing the world's highest statue.”
The aide, who wanted not to be named, told www.counterview.net that the “iron collected from the farmers will obviously be of different types and suspected quality. Some of it may be simply scrap or junk. Obviously, it cannot be used for constructing a quality Sardar statue.” He added, “Quality metal, instead, would need to be for constructing the 182 metre high statue in order to ensure that it lasts for generations to come. Things will become clear once technical consultation of the project is over.”
The aide further said, “We have already begun to contact different non-government organisations (NGOs), who are wedded to the idea…

'Smaller Kalpasar unviable; proposed Bharbhut weir will carry five per cent of Narmada water into reservoir'

By Rajiv Shah
Top technocrat Dr Anil Kane, who gave the ambitious project for damming the Gulf of Khambhat the now popular name of Kalpasar more than two decades ago by conceptualising it, has heavily come down on the Gujarat government for making the entire project “unviable and unworkable.” Talking with www.counterview.net, Dr Kane said, a major factor that will make the project redundant is that, under the new project design, the Narmada river has been removed from the Kalpasar reservoir. “From where will you get water if Narmada river is not made part of Kalpasar?”, he wondered.
Particularly raising objection to the Rs 4,000 crore Bharbhut weir, to be built on the mouth of river Narmada, Dr Kane, former vice-chancellor of MSU, Vadodara, and currently president-emeritus of the World Wind Energy Association, Bonn, “Flood waters from Narmada were to find themselves in the Kalpasar dam, thus helping the reservoir to become a sweet water lake over the years. However, the proposed canal w…

"Refined" analysis by top economist says Gujarat ranks 16th in health, 12th in education and 11th in infrastructure

By Rajiv Shah A new Planning Commission-sponsored study, “Refining State Level Comparisons in India”, by Pranjul Bhandari, economist at the Office of the Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and a chief brain behind the Economic Survey 2012-13, says that her “refined” analysis has found that Gujarat stands 16th in health index, 12th in education index and 11th in infrastructure index among 21 major Indian states. Bhandari has arrived at these figures on the basis of a new methodology she adopts by “refining” raw data in order to find out how well do states perform in the context of the resources at their disposal.
Bhandari believes that the method so far adopted only provides what “raw” results. They merely “conform with the already well-established findings of several other studies that states such as Kerala are amongst the best performing while the so-called BIMARU states (Bihar, MP, Rajasthan and UP) are laggards.” However, she thinks, “While this i…

Modi, CMO and the so-called Tina factor

By Rajiv Shah
On May 31, when I visited Gujarat Sachivalaya, the centre of Narendra Modi's powerdom, there was commotion among state IAS babus. While I met a dozen-odd IAS officials, including some of the senior-most, one of them looked rather annoyed, despite being known to be so close to the CM. He had been asked to reach the new CM office, built as a separate building, but didn't want to go. He told me, "Hell. They have put a jammer. No mobiles work. Its nauseating. I don't want to go there."
Yet, this babu was was as frank as ever. Offering me a cup of tea, he told me that while a "decision" had been taken to reemploy retiring K Kailashnathan (KK to his colleagues) for the same job - KK headed the CM office for seven years - it "merely awaited" Modi's "red pen sign". I asked him bluntly: "But I was told you were offered the post. So you wouldn't replace KK?" He smiled, looked around, and blurted out: "My dear…