The British colonial administration brought in progressive developmental forces by bringing in education (Kindergarten to University) and railway networks for commercial exploitation of agricultural, forest and mineral resources and various social activists rose to the occasion with giants such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ranade, Gokhale, Phule, Dadabhai Naoroji, Pantulu, Sayyad Ahmed, Narayana Guru, Sane Guruji, Vidyasagar, Swami Vivekananda, etc.
Whereas the number of poor can be fixed simply through a sample survey, identifying them would need visiting each and every household. While Planning Commission was the official agency to estimate the percentage of population below poverty line (BPL) once in five years based on the National Sample Survey on Consumption Expenditure, a Census to identify the BPL households has been conducted by the states through the Ministry of Rural Development of the Central Government three times (1992, 1997 and 2002) in the last 25 years.
The government has accepted the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission that seeks to enhance transfer of money to the states from the central taxes by an unprecedented 10 per cent.
Under the new arrangement 42 per cent money from the 'divisible pool' will be transferred to the states. This is 10 percentage point increase when compared with the previous 32 per cent.
Welfare measures are not freebie. Hence, the policy culture must keep an effective balance between passion and compassion, to make the impact of underlying much more robust than in the sloganeering confine of 'greater common goods'.
To my mind, there cannot be any controversy or debate as to how to achieve inclusive growth. I think the experience of all developed and developing countries as well as India shows that in order to achieve inclusive growth we need to do five things.
Narendra Modi government has replaced 65-year old Planning Commission (Yojana Aayog) with a new institution named NITI Aayog. NITI stands for National Institution for Transforming India. To bring in a lasting transformation, radical change in the process of planning and implementation of developmental work is required. Plans should be formulated at local bodies and village level on felt-need based approach.
The benefits of RuPay Debit cards, insurance and overdraft facilities associated with accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) will also be applicable for Cooperative Banks accounts opened under the scheme, according to top Finance Ministry officials.
India wants to take lead in BRICS, become the favoured destination for FDI, aims to reduce poverty below 20 per cent, skill develop its demographic dividend, financially and digitally include all households and targets to become a higher middle-income country by 2025. But when it comes to healthcare, the situation is not as promising.