rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Why the Planning Commission should wind up

Why the Planning Commission should wind up

July 29, 2013 10:39 IST

Why the Planning Commission should wind up

     Next

Next
Somesh Jha

Ashish Bose coined the term BIMARU in a paper to then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s to highlight the economic backwardness of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. He tells Somesh Jha he is not inspired by the Planning Commission’s bogus poverty figures. He says it is time the commission wound up. Excerpts:

You coined the term BIMARU, but these states performed well in alleviating poverty in 2011-12, compared to 2004-05. Do you think these states are slowly shedding this tag?

I feel BIMARU states are still lagging because all this data which show that poverty has reduced magnificently are tall claims and nothing more.

Look at the recent tragedy in Bihar where so many children died. Hence, the administration is rotten there till date.

There are no second thoughts that Rajasthan is doing slightly better but Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are still very backward states. In fact, the list of my original BIMARU term is ever-growing, with states like Odisha and Assam joining the league.

Click on NEXT for more...


Photographs: Reuters

     Next

Why the Planning Commission should wind up

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

What is your take on the Planning Commission’s latest estimate on poverty, which says the proportion has reduced to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12 from 37.2 per cent in 2004-05?

I believe the Planning Commission should wind up. It sometimes gives bogus numbers and I do not agree at all with whatever they are doing.

If you say you are a market economy, why do you need the Commission? Let each state in the country fend for itself and produce its own plan. We do not want a national Plan. The Commission more or less speaks for the government in power and nothing else.

Do you mean the poverty numbers were underestimated?

The poverty rates have, in fact, increased. The price of even the basic food items has gone up considerably in all these years and vegetables are equally costlier.

All this hocus-pocus is going on in the name of aam aadmi... has any of these great politicians gone and stayed with the common man? Rahul Gandhi goes to villages and stays there for a night with all his security staff; it is purely symbolic.

I say go alone and stay like a common man. Then, you will experience the real world.

Click on NEXT for more...


Photographs: Reuters

Prev     Next

Why the Planning Commission should wind up

Prev     More
Prev

More

The United Progressive Alliance claims poverty reduction under its rule has been double than what it was a decade ago. Are you saying it is untrue?

These are all statistical claims. We were taught in college that statistics is a good way of telling a lie.

What, then, can be the method adopted to alleviate poverty?

The government should truthfully introduce welfare programmes, without leakages. All these poverty alleviation programmes are of no use if there is corruption prevalent in the economy.

My driver told me he was asked for a bribe to renew his voter identity card.

What does one expect if you can steal the pockets of the poor as well? With the level of corruption eating away the economy, the whole country seems to be turning into a BIMARU.


Photographs: Reuters

Prev     More
Source: