Tuesday, February 28, 2023

ABP India Summit 2023: Javed Akhtar Saw "No Visible Poverty" in Lahore, Pakistan

Famous Indian writer and poet Javed Akhtar told his audience at a conference in Mumbai that he saw "no visible poverty" in Lahore during his multiple visits to Pakistan over the last three decades. Responding to Indian novelist Chetan Bhagat's query about Pakistan's economic crisis at ABP's "Ideas of India Summit 2023" in Mumbai, Akhtar said: "Unlike what you see in Delhi and Mumbai, I did not see any visible poverty in Lahore".  This was Akhtar's first interview upon his return to India after attending "Faiz Festival" in Lahore, Pakistan. 

Javed Akhtar at ABP Ideas Summit in Mumbai

Chetan Bhagat began by talking about high inflation, low forex reserves and major economic crisis in Pakistan and followed it up by asking Javed Akhtar about its effects he saw on the people in Pakistan. In response, Akhtar said, "Bilkul Nahin (Not at all). In India you see poverty right in front of you, next door to a billionaire. Maybe it is kept back of the beyond. Only some people are allowed to enter certain areas. But you don't see it (poverty) on the streets. In India, it is right in front of you...amiri bhi or gharibi bhi (wealth and poverty). Sare kam apke samne hain (It's all in front of you). Wahan yeh dekhai nahin deta (you don't see it in Pakistan)". 

Alhamra Arts Center, Lahore, Pakistan

Disappointed by the response, Bhagat suggested that the Indian visitor could have been guided by his hosts through certain routes where he couldn't see any poverty. Javed Akhtar then said "it's not possible to hide poverty. I would have seen at least a "jhalak" (glimpse) of it as I always do in Delhi and Mumbai....I have been to Pakistan many times but I have not seen it". 

What Javed Akhtar saw and reported recently is obviously anecdotal evidence. But it is also supported by hard data. Over 75% of the world's poor deprived of basic living standards (nutrition, cooking fuel, sanitation and housing) live in India compared to 4.6% in Bangladesh and 4.1% in Pakistan, according to a recently released OPHI/UNDP report on multidimensional poverty.  Here's what the report says: "More than 45.5 million poor people are deprived in only these four indicators (nutrition, cooking fuel, sanitation and housing). Of those people, 34.4 million live in India, 2.1 million in Bangladesh and 1.9 million in Pakistan—making this a predominantly South Asian profile". 

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2022. Source: OPHI/UNDP

Income Poverty in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Source: Our World in Data

The UNDP poverty report shows that the income poverty (people living on $1.90 or less per day) in Pakistan is 3.6% while it is 22.5% in India and 14.3% in Bangladesh. In terms of the population vulnerable to multidimensional poverty, Pakistan (12.9%) does better than Bangladesh (18.2%) and India (18.7%)  However, Pakistan fares worse than India and Bangladesh in multiple dimensions of poverty. The headline multidimensional poverty (MPI) figure for Pakistan (0.198) is worse than for Bangladesh (0.104) and India (0.069). This is primarily due to the education and health deficits in Pakistan. Adults with fewer than 6 years of schooling are considered multidimensionally poor by OPHI/UNDP.  Income poverty is not included in the MPI calculations. The data used by OHP/UNDP for MPI calculation is from years 2017/18 for Pakistan and from years 2019/2021 for India. 

Multidimensional Poverty in South Asia. Source: UNDP

The Indian government's reported multidimensional poverty rate of 25.01% is much higher than the OPHI/UNDP estimate of 16.4%. NITI Ayog report released in November 2021 says: "India’s national MPI identifies 25.01 percent of the population as multidimensionally poor".

Multidimensional Poverty in India. Source: NITI Ayog via IIP

Earlier last year,  Global Hunger Index 2022 reported that  India ranks 107th for hunger among 121 nations. The nation fares worse than all of its South Asian neighbors except for war-torn Afghanistan ranked 109, according to the the report. Sri Lanka ranks 64, Nepal 81, Bangladesh 84 and Pakistan 99. India and Pakistan have levels of hunger that are considered serious. Both have slipped on the hunger charts from 2021 when India was ranked 101 and Pakistan 92. Seventeen countries, including Bosnia, China, Kuwait, Turkey and UAE, are collectively ranked between 1 and 17 for having a score of less than five.

Here's a video of Javed Akhtar's interview with Chetan Bhagat at ABP's "Ideas of India Summit 2023".  Please watch from 4:19 to 6:00 minutes. 



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistan Among World's Largest Food Producers

Pakistan Floods 2022

Food in Pakistan 2nd Cheapest in the World

India in Crisis: Unemployment and Hunger Persist After COVID

India Rising, Pakistan Collapsing

Record Number of Indians Seeking Asylum in US

Vast Majority of Pakistanis Support Imran Khan's Handling of Covid19 Crisis

Incomes of Poorest Pakistanis Growing Faster Than Their Richest Counterparts

Pakistanis Consuming More Calories, Fruits & Vegetables Per Capita 

How Grim is Pakistan's Social Sector Progress?

Pakistan Fares Marginally Better Than India On Disease Burdens

COVID Lockdown Decimates India's Middle Class

Pakistan Child Health Indicators

Pakistan's Balance of Payments Crisis

How Has India Built Large Forex Reserves Despite Perennial Trade Deficits

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Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

Thanks for posting this on your blog about great Indian movie writer Mr . Javed Akhter who is well known and needs no introduction .

Pls note that this is the same Javed Akhter who visited Lahore before giving his interview to Indian journalists in India and he sat in I think Lahore Literature Festival and boldly and openly criticised Pakistan . He said that “ THOSE WHO CONDUCTED MUMBAI ATTACK IN WHICH MANY PEOPLE WERE KILLED DIDNT COME FROM NORWAY OR ANY FOREIGN COUNTRY”.

It is surprising to see that how these Indians keep crying for that Mumbai attack which happened in 2008.

My comment:

These Indians don’t realise and don’t even know that since 2008 many terrorist attacks happened in Pakistan and according to international survey reports , atleast 80,000 people have been killed in Pakistan since 2007 from different terror attacks .


He further said that “ CREATION OF PAKISTAN WAS A BLUNDER” .

My comment :
Sir mashallah during my childhood I lived many years abroad and I have met many Indians in my life . These Indians still have this notion embedded in their minds that the creation and formation of Pakistan was a blunder .

One should ask these Indians that if creation of Pakistan was a great mistake( blunder) then what was and could have been the possible solution ?

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

I am sorry to say just few days ago some students in LUMS( Lahore University of Management and Sciences ) celebrated Bollywood day .

This is the direction in which Pakistan is heading may God forbid .

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

Pls check this , this is Maulana Tariq Masood who is famous in Pakistan and he is a mufti . He lives in Karachi and pls see what he is saying in an interview which he gave in a podcast video on YouTube . He is talking about the unfortunate crimes which are happening in this city of ours . Recently a husband and wife who came to Karachi as a tourist were also attacked and killed according to this Maulana Sahib .

A student from Iqra University was going home and he was robbed on his way .

Sir what is happening in Karachi?

The podcast host said that when he asks the police and rangers that why aren’t they taking actions against these criminals ? They say in reply that they don’t have the power and rights to do it ?

Similarly when Maulana Tariq Masood asked the governor of Karachi that why he and his administration is not able to control the crime in the city ? The governor replies by saying that he doesn’t have the rights .

Sir PPP is ruling over Sindh and they have done nothing for this city and entire province of Sindh except for giving lectures and talking about fame and legacy of Bhutto .


Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

Pls kindly check this podcast video of Maulana Tariq Masood and see what he says ?


Ben said...

That is also my observation when I first time went to Pak about 5 years ago. There is no where close to poverty / slums compared to what you hear in the media. But my visit was limited to half a dozen big cities, not sure about the country, I also went to few villages in Punjab they were quite good.

They need to focus on keeping the cities clean, I found Lahore and Islamabad much cleaner compared to the rest. Pakistanis throw garbage on the streets without any hesitation.

Wind said...

It was once reported that Ambani had a helipad built atop his residence so he doesn't have to drive through slums when commuting to and from the airport. I'm sure Lahore has it's share of run down areas but like Mumbai or Delhi, they are not dotted all over the city.

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

All these Indian agents who are working in Pakistan definitely must have penetrated inside the country when Zardari became President of the country in 2008. And the situation further deteriorated and escalated when Nawaz Shareef became the PM of the country .

According to some sources , when Nawaz Shareef was the PM , his sugar mills was increasing and inorder to operate the machines which are used in sugar mills , he actually called Indian government for help and Indian government sent some engineers to operate those machines of his sugar mills . Can you imagine that Nawaz Shareef the Prime Minister of Pakistan was doing such things ?

Sir do you know that when these Indian engineers who came to Pakistan to work on the machines of the sugar mills of Nawaz Shareef , they were actually given a restricted visa of the specific city where sugar mills of Nawaz Shareef was located but this corrupt , and incompetent politician of Pakistan Mr. Nawaz Shareef allowed these Indian engineers to visit and travel to any part of Pakistan without any restriction without even realising that these Indian engineers sent by Indian government could even be agents of Raw .

Ahmed said...

Dear Wind

Thanks for your post , yes poverty is their in Pakistan , just as it is in almost every developing countries . Poverty is one of the major issues of developing countries but pls note that condition of Pakistan is not as serious as it is in India .

Even William a Scottish writer who has lived 20 years in India and has travelled to Pakistan several times has noticed and observed this . He wrote in his article that poverty on the streets of the city of Pakistan is much less and blurdely visible as compared to India .

Mahanth who is an American Indian visited Pakistan many years ago , he wrote in his article that when he visited Pakistan , he was surprised to see that their were far few beggers on the streets of Karachi and Lahore as compared to the cities of India and he further said that poverty was hardly visible on the streets of Karachi and Lahore as compared to Mumbai and other cities of India .

Kumar said...

Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia had proportionally as little poverty, slums and open defecation as Pakistan. You know what happened to those countries later.

Imran said...


The people of these countries you mention still enjoy better living standards than most Indians today.

Ahmed said...

Sir Imran

Lolx excellent reply to Mr. Kumar ,these hopeless and narrow minded Indians don’t realise and understand that India already has serious problems of poverty and they must understand that if this is the level of poverty in India at this time then what will happen to people of India in the future if may God forbid war starts between India and Pakistan ?

Saad H. said...

Wealth inequality is less acute in Pakistan and the concept of charity and taking care of less fortunate is a religious duty, hence no one goes to sleep on an empty stomach and almost no one is without shelter. The same cannot be said of shining India.

Ahmed said...

Sir Saad

Thanks for the reply , yes I agree the concept and culture of giving charity to poors and needies in Pakistan is quiet common mashallah and many businessmen and middle class people in the country do give charities to poors and needies .

Also their are some philanthropists in Pakistan who are working privately and personally to support the poors and needies .

Their are as far as I know very few Philanthropists in India and I think even the middle class in India is not so financially good that they can give charities to poors of their country .

This is one of the factors which causes poverty to survive in India .

Another factor is caste system in India which is pretty dangerous and cruel . The lower caste Hindus in India are not allowed to take education, health facilities and even they are not allowed to do good jobs in India . They are forced to do odd jobs in India and even those jobs which are lower than odd jobs like cleaning the gutters , working as gate keepers or doing any other small level jobs .

Also their is unequal distribution of wealth in India which is another factor which leads to such level of poverty in India .


Ahmed said...

Sir Saad

Actually Indians are very smart and they know how to market and publicise their country and their talent . No matter what their internal problems are , the world doesn’t really care that much about it but what the world actually sees is that how much they are getting benefits from the country .

Indians having a huge population and a huge market has always benefited the world by providing scientists , engineers, IT professionals and doctors to the world in huge quantity .

The world actually sees this .

The world actually sees what Indian graduates from different universities of India are doing and how they can benefit the 1st world country .

Indian government and media has played an important role in marketing the talent and skills of their in University graduates and professionals of different fields .

This is where unfortunately Pakistani government has failed or has never taken initiative .


Riaz Haq said...

#India’s #Economy Looks Shaky Under the Hood.
The key driver of India’s economy—#domestic consumer #demand—is weakening after a brief post-#pandemic spurt . #Modi #G20Summit https://www.wsj.com/articles/indias-economy-looks-shaky-under-the-hood-11c28fd0


India’s economy is losing steam in the one place that has been the South Asian nation’s strongest bulwark against a possible global recession: robust domestic demand.

India’s economy slowed further in the December quarter, figures released this week showed, as postpandemic pent up demand ebbed and the country’s manufacturing sector continued to weaken. Asia’s third largest economy recorded year-over-year growth of 4.4% last quarter, down from 6.3% in the September quarter.

Weakness in private consumption stood out the most. India’s private consumer spending, which comprises about 60% of India’s gross domestic product, rose just 2.1% year over year, compared with an 8.8% increase in the September quarter. It was mainly hurt by higher interest rates and elevated inflation. Slower growth in rural spending after some pandemic-era subsidies were cut could have also played a role.

Higher borrowing costs will probably continue to pinch pocketbooks, especially in urban areas, as the Reserve Bank of India remains laser-focused on reining in stubborn inflation. It has raised benchmark interest rates by 2.5 percentage points since May last year and will probably hike by another 0.25 point to 6.75% in April, squeezing household budgets further. Despite an aggressive rate-raising cycle, retail inflation jumped to a three-month high of 6.52% in January.

A closer look at other numbers in the GDP data also paints a worrisome picture. Import growth fell more sharply than export growth, again signaling weak domestic demand. And while fixed investment growth was a relative bright spot, it still slowed for the second quarter in a row.

Fizzling momentum at a time of high global economic uncertainty and tightening global financial conditions also spells trouble for the country’s monetary policy stance. A weak external environment wasn’t entirely unexpected, but the emerging evidence of rapidly slowing domestic demand makes the central bank’s job much harder. A heat wave or subpar monsoon could make things even more difficult by hitting agricultural output, and boosting food price inflation.

Nomura economists Sonal Varma and Aurodeep Nandi think markets are still significantly underappreciating the risks to India’s growth. They say the country’s growth cycle has peaked, and a combination of weaker global growth and tight domestic and global financial conditions could spell further trouble for exports, investment and discretionary consumption.

The International Monetary Fund still projects India will be the fastest-growing major economy in 2023—largely on the back of resilient domestic demand. The Indian government forecasts that India will grow 7% in the year ending in March 2023, and another 6.5% the following year.

Those numbers may turn out to be optimistic if private consumption doesn’t pick up the pace again soon.

Riaz Haq said...

India Derailed: A Falling Investment Rate and Deindustrialisation


Falling investment rates and declining manufacturing growth rates have marked the Indian GDP growth reversal since the mid-2010s. These structural defects have not yet been addressed. The current optimism can be realised only with a public investment push that would crowd in private investment.

The current financial year of 2022–23 has witnessed a sharp recovery of the Indian economy in spite of being buffeted by supply disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war and a consequent rise in commodity prices. In 2022–23, according to the first advance estimates, the economy is expected to expand by 7% over the last year.

Policymakers claim success in having met the challenges of global health and economic shocks because India has reportedly emerged as one of the fastest growing countries in recent quarters. There is therefore considerable optimism that India is now on the cusp of an economic upswing.

Contrary to many apprehensions, output recovery from the pandemic has been sharp and V-shaped. India’s real gross domestic output (GDP, net of inflation) grew at 1.5% in 2021-22 over the pre-pandemic year (2019–20) (Figure 1). According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, Covid-19-related deaths were said to be high in India – much higher than the officially reported figures – but they were modest relative to the country’s population.

How did India manage to restrict the negative economic fallout of the pandemic? Reportedly, public expenditure on both consumption and investment as a proportion of GDP were higher during the pandemic years compared with 2019–20 (Economic Survey, 2022-23). An increase in public consumption expenditure partly made up for the decline in private expenditure. The rise in public investment was mostly on road construction – a labour-intensive activity that created much-needed unskilled employment.

Public consumption was raised largely by expanding the distribution of free foodgrains to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). Data show that the offtake (under all schemes) from the Public Distribution System (PDS) peaked at 109.3 million tonnes in April 2020, was 90.8 million tonnes in August 2021, and 67.8 million tonnes in November 2022. Boosting expenditure on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), a national, legally mandated, food-for-work programme, to meet its growing demand during the pandemic helped mitigate the fall in private employment (Figure 2). It would perhaps be fair to say that these public expenditures during the pandemic helped the economy cushion the crisis of hunger.

India’s recovery looks better compared to China’s self-inflicted wound of the Zero-Covid policy and repeated lockdowns that have caused enormous human suffering and output disruptions.

Be that as it may, India’s claim of a return to 'normalcy needs to be seen against the decade-long derailment of the economy in the 2010s compared to the growth acceleration witnessed after the 1980s. This essay addresses the setback to growth, investment, and consequent deindustrialisation.

Growth During the 2010s
In 2022 India will be the world’s fifth largest economy with a GDP of $3.2 trillion in current dollars, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates. In July 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set an ambitious growth target of a $5 trillion economy by 2024, up from a $1.9-trillion economy in 2019. That target looks unachievable by 2024. With a per capita income of $2,191 in 2021, India ranked 144th amongst 194 IMF member countries.

Riaz Haq said...

India Derailed: A Falling Investment Rate and Deindustrialisation


Over the long term, India was amongst the countries that witnessed a steady growth in output between 1960 and 1992. India’s annual average GDP growth rate increased from about 3.5% between the 1950s and 1970s to 5.5% per cent during the 1980s and 1990s. According to a well-known classification of global growth patterns, India was one of the very few “growth accelerators” in the 20th century (Hausmann et al. 2005). Growth further increased to more than 7% per year in the 2000s coinciding with a global boom in trade, output, and capital flows. I had termed this “India’s Dream Run” (Nagaraj 2013) and it lasted till the global financial crisis in 2008.

Never in the past seven decades has India witnessed such an economic reversal, and the gravity of the problem is perhaps yet to sink into the minds of policymakers and the public.
However, India went off the rails in the 2010s as the growth momentum petered out and it staggered into the “mountain” category, according to Prichett’s description of patterns of development (Pritchett 2000). Annual GDP growth rate slowed to 3.5–4% by 2019–20 from 7–8% until 2010–11 If the critics of the current series of GDP estimates are right, the annual growth rate during much of the 2010s decade would be still lower at 4–5% (Figure 3) (Subramanian 2019; Morris 2019).

Expectedly, the deterioration in growth took a toll on related economic aggregates. Well-documented evidence shows a fall in employment levels (with adverse changes in its composition), a rise in the rate of absolute poverty in rural India, and deterioration in the rate of malnutrition (Nagaraj 2020; Kapoor 2020; Subramanian 2019). Never in the past seven decades has India witnessed such an economic reversal.

The gravity of the problem is perhaps yet to be fully appreciated by policymakers.

A notable manifestation of the decade of declining growth rates is premature deindustrialisation which is defined as a sustained decline in the share of output and employment in the manufacturing sector before attaining industrial maturity as the developed nations did. On premature deindustrialisation, Dani Rodrik writes:

In most of these countries, manufacturing began to shrink (or is on course for shrinking) at levels of income that are a fraction of those at which the advanced economies started to deindustrialise. These developing countries are turning into service economies without having gone through a proper experience of industrialisation (Rodrik, 2015).
India’s manufacturing sector output growth rate had fallen to a negative 0.4% in 2019–20 from 13.1% per year in 2015–16 (Figure 4 (i)). (All growth rates are at constant prices, unless otherwise specified. ) The deceleration in the growth rate needs to be seen against the stagnant share of manufacturing in GDP for three decades since 1991 (Figure 4 (ii)).

The manufacturing sector’s share in employment fell to 11.3% in 2019–20 from 12.5% in 2011–12, with a corresponding rise in agriculture’s share in the second half of the 2010s (Figure 5). This indicated a reversal of the structural transformation of the labour force (that is, workers moving to lower-productive sectors from higher-productive sectors, including to construction in the informal sector). There was a further decline in 2020–21. However, we ignore this because the pandemic contributed to the decline in 2020-21. It is perhaps worth remembering that structural transformation of the labour force is a defining characteristic of Kuznetsian modern economic growth.

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

Thanks for sharing these last 3 articles about the reality of Indian economy . Sir the problem is that Indians are so badly suffering from superiority complex and ego specially the supporters and members of BJP . Even if you try to convience them about this hidden reality of the economy they won’t believe it . According to them these articles which have been written about the economy of India are fake or according to them the authors who write them don’t have any credentials and lack credibility .

It is surprising to see that their own PM Modi doesn’t have any educational and family background but his parties supporters elevate him so much .

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

Few months ago I was having a discussion with some Indians on Facebook . They were arguing that PM Modi has a bachelors degree in political science .

How far is it true ?

Does he really has an educational or academic background ?


Riaz Haq said...

"India is Broken" writes Princeton Economist Ashoka Modi. Says #Indians, mostly illiterate and poor, hunger for freedom and prosperity but their politicians from #Nehru to #Modi have “betrayed the economic aspirations” of millions. #BJP https://www.wsj.com/articles/india-is-broken-review-the-difficult-future-for-a-giant-3f65612d?st=l40ilxogdhokc9y via @WSJBooks

Ashoka Mody, who was for many years a senior economist at the International Monetary Fund, is the sort of quietly efficient global technocrat who retires to a professorship at a prestigious school—in his case, Princeton. Yet he’s different from his faceless ilk of briefcase-bearers in one astonishing way: 13 years ago, an attempt was made on his life. The alleged assailant, thought to have been passed over for a job at the IMF by Mr. Mody, shot him in the jaw outside his house in Maryland.

He recovered with remarkable verve, his intellectual drive intact. Yet a mood of gloom and pessimism is unmistakable in “India Is Broken.” Today, 75 years after independence from Britain, Mr. Mody believes that India’s democracy and economy are in a state of profound malfunction. The book’s tale, he writes, “is one of continuous erosion of social norms and decay of political accountability.” You might add that it is also a tale of an audacious political experiment on the brink of failure.

India started its post-independence journey, says Mr. Mody, as “an improbable democracy” whose citizens, mostly illiterate and poor, hungered for freedom and prosperity. Generations of Indian politicians—from Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, to Narendra Modi, the present one—have “betrayed the economic aspirations” of millions. India’s democracy no longer protects fundamental rights and freedoms in a nation over which “a blanket of violence” has fallen. A belief in “equality, tolerance and shared progress” has disappeared. And the country’s collapse isn’t just political and economic; it’s also moral and spiritual.


A notable weakness in Mr. Mody’s analysis is his denial that the economic policies of Nehru and his successors were socialist. He writes of Nehru’s “alleged socialist legacy” and adds that it is a “mistake to identify central planning or big government as socialism.” Socialism, he insists, “means the creation of equal opportunity for all,” which India’s policy makers weren’t doing. Ergo, India wasn’t socialist.

If these protestations are almost laughable, Mr. Mody’s solution also invites some derision. Hope for India, he says, lies in making it a “true democracy.” And how can that be done? “We must move to an equilibrium in which everyone expects others to be honest.” This “honest equilibrium,” he says, will promote enough trust for Indians to work together “in the long-haul tasks of creating public goods and advancing sustainable development” and awakening “civic consciousness.” Mr. Mody, it is clear, has a dream. It is na├»ve, and it is corny. India, alas, will continue to be “broken” for many years to come.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex Central Bank Chief Raghu Rajan: 'India dangerously close to Hindu rate of growth'. #Hindu rate of growth is a term describing low #Indian economic growth rates from the 1950s to the 1980s, which averaged around 4%. #Modi #BJP #economy #Hindutva

Sounding a note of caution, former Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan has said that India is "dangerously close" to the Hindu rate of growth in view of subdued private sector investment, high interest rates and slowing global growth.

Rajan said that sequential slowdown in the quarterly growth, as revealed by the latest estimate of national income released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) last month, was worrying. Hindu rate of growth is a term describing low Indian economic growth rates from the 1950s to the 1980s, which averaged around 4 per cent. The term was coined by Raj Krishna, an Indian economist, in 1978 to describe the slow growth.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter (October-December) of the current fiscal slowed to 4.4 per cent from 6.3 per cent in the second quarter (July-September) and 13.2 per cent in the first quarter (April-June).

The growth in the third quarter of the previous financial year was 5.2 per cent. "Of course, the optimists will point to the upward revisions in past GDP numbers, but I am worried about the sequential slowdown. With the private sector unwilling to invest, the RBI still hiking rates, and global growth likely to slow later in the year, I am not sure where we find additional growth momentum," Rajan said in an email interview to PTI.

Recently, Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran had attributed the subdued quarterly growth to the upward revision of estimates of national income for the past years. The key question is what Indian growth will be in fiscal 2023-24, Rajan said, adding "I am worried that earlier we would be lucky if we hit 5 per cent growth. The latest October-December Indian GDP numbers (4.4 per cent on year ago and 1 per cent relative to the previous quarter) suggest slowing growth from the heady numbers in the first half of the year. "My fears were not misplaced. The RBI projects an even lower 4.2 per cent for the last quarter of this fiscal. At this point, the average annual growth of the October-December quarter relative to the to the similar pre-pandemic quarter 3 years ago is 3.7 per cent. "This is dangerously close to our old Hindu rate of growth! We must do better." The government, he said, was doing its bit on infrastructure investment but its manufacturing thrust is yet to pay dividends. The bright spot is services, he said, adding "it seems less central to government efforts." On a query regarding the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, Rajan said any scheme in which the government pours money will create jobs and any scheme which elevates tariffs on output while offering bonuses for final units produced in India will create production in India, and exports. "A sensible evaluation would ask how many jobs are being created and at what price per job. By the government's own statistics, 15 per cent of the proposed investment has come in but only 3 per cent of the predicted jobs have been created. This does not sound like success, at least not yet," Rajan said.

Furthermore, even if the scheme fully meets the government's expectations over the next few years, it will create only 0.6 crore jobs, a small dent in the jobs India needs over the same period, the former RBI Governor said. "Similarly, government spokespersons point to the rise in cell phone exports as evidence that the scheme is working. But if we are subsidising every cell phone that is exported, this is an obvious outcome.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex Central Bank Chief Raghu Rajan: 'India dangerously close to Hindu rate of growth'. #Hindu rate of growth is a term describing low #Indian economic growth rates from the 1950s to the 1980s, which averaged around 4%. #Modi #BJP #economy #Hindutva

Furthermore, even if the scheme fully meets the government's expectations over the next few years, it will create only 0.6 crore jobs, a small dent in the jobs India needs over the same period, the former RBI Governor said. "Similarly, government spokespersons point to the rise in cell phone exports as evidence that the scheme is working. But if we are subsidising every cell phone that is exported, this is an obvious outcome.

The key question is how much value added is done in India. It turns (out to be) very little so far," he said. Rajan said cell phone parts imports have also gone up, so net exports in the cell phone sector, the relevant measure that no one in government talks about, is pretty much where it was when the scheme started. "Except, we have also spent money on subsidies. Foxconn just announced a big factory to produce parts but they have been saying they will invest for a long time. I think we need a lot more evidence before celebrating the success of the PLI scheme," he said.

Currently, Rajan is the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He further said the most developed economies of the world are largely service economies, so you can be a large economy without a large presence in manufacturing.

"Services do not just account for the majority of our unicorns, services can also provide a lot of semi-skilled jobs in construction, transport, tourism, retail, and hospitality. So let us not deride service jobs – indeed while the fraction of manufacturing jobs has stagnated in India, services have absorbed the exodus from agriculture." "We need to work on both manufacturing and services to create the jobs we need, and fortunately, many of the inputs both (services and manufacturing) need schooling, skilling...," he said.

On what measures the government should take to improve oversight of private family companies to address worries after the Hindenburg allegations on Adani Group, Rajan said: "I don't think the issue is of more oversight over private companies". The issue is of reducing non-transparent links between government and business, and of letting, indeed encouraging, regulators do their job, he said. "Why has SEBI not yet got to the bottom of the ownership of those Mauritius funds which have been holding and trading Adani stock? Does it need help from the investigative agencies?," Rajan wondered.

Adani group has been under severe pressure since the US short-seller Hindenburg Research on January 24, accused it of accounting fraud and stock manipulation, allegations that the conglomerate has denied as "malicious", "baseless" and a "calculated attack on India".

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

I am sorry I hope you remember that last time I commented about how Indians are misusing the social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube . Many Indians come to Pakistani newspages on Facebook and on Pakistani channels of YouTube and use abusive words against Pakistan and Pakistanis , they even insult the former PM of Pakistan Imran Khan . I think these Indians are either employees of Facebook and YouTube offices in Bangalore but or they are common Indian people who have accounts on YouTube and Facebook .

When Pakistanis try to respond to these Indians after when they make negative comments about Pakistan , they complain to YouTube and Facebook authorities and the YouTube and Facebook authorities block the accounts of Pakistanis .

If this trend continuous then Facebook and YouTube doesn’t have the right to call themselves promoters of freedom of speech .

Pls kindly do something about it .


Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

Javaid Akhter is no more a Muslim . Although he was born into a Muslim family but later he became atheist .

Riaz Haq said...

#India's Pay-to-Breathe market is soaring. Facing #toxic #air, wealthy #Indians are buying air purifiers, creating a booming market. But 60% of India’s 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day, below the World Bank’s median #poverty line. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/breathing-is-a-luxury-in-indias-air-crisis

The mild winter months are always busy for Mumbai-based pulmonologist Revathy K, but these past few months have been especially hectic. In November, a sudden drop in ocean temperatures slowed the winds that normally shift the city’s construction dust, debris, and traffic fumes. The Bandra-Worli Sea Link, a bridge that connects the center of the city to its northern suburbs, disappeared behind a curtain of smog as the city’s air quality dropped to “very poor,” briefly overtaking Delhi, the world’s most polluted city.

“A lot of patients were coming in with a wheeze,” K says, something she usually sees in patients who have asthma or smoking-related disorders. Within the span of a few months, from November through January, Mumbai doctors reported seeing a rise in chronic and persistent coughs, alongside the annual flu season. “These are patients who’ve never had any allergic symptoms in the past but are now coming in with [symptoms resembling] acute bronchitis,” says K (who, like many Indians, uses an initial as her last name.)

India’s air pollution is a rolling disaster that shows no sign of slowing down. A 2022 report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air think tank found that “almost the entire population of India” is exposed to air pollution above the guidelines set by the World Health Organization. In 2019, air pollution killed an estimated 1.6 million Indians.

As attempts to fix the problem at the source fail, a new kind of inequality is taking hold in Indian cities. Facing potentially deadly air quality outside, wealthier Indians are paying to breathe free, creating a booming market for air purifiers that is forecast to grow 35 percent to $597 million by 2027. But in a country already economically divided along caste, gender, and religious lines, where 63 percent of people pay for health care out-of-pocket and the top 10 percent of the population hold 77 percent of the wealth, paying for breathable air isn’t an option for most.

“We are normalizing a world that hardly values nature and natural rights—basic necessities like clean drinking water, fresh and unpolluted air, space to walk for pedestrians is neither part of urban planning nor [do they] concern our collective conscience,” says Suryakant Waghmore, professor of sociology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Waghmore says air purifiers purify air for the privileged “while the public is left to decay and degrade.”

As a cold spell swept through Mumbai in January and people donned sweaters and balaclavas to keep warm, a dusty haze hung in the air, occasionally caking onto leaves and piling into mounds on street corners. Roads remained choked with traffic, and the city’s poorer residents resorted to dumpster fires, burning scraps of wood, rubber, and plastic to stay warm.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's Pay-to-Breathe market is soaring. Facing #toxic #air, wealthy #Indians are buying air purifiers, creating a booming market. But 60% of India’s 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day, below the World Bank’s median #poverty line. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/breathing-is-a-luxury-in-indias-air-crisis

Timothy Dmello, who spends 12 hours a day outdoors as a paid dog walker, says he started to notice the worsening air pollution as he went up and down the Carter Road promenade, a palm-tree-lined stretch flanked by Bollywood celebrities’ apartments looking out onto the Arabian Sea. He says you can’t see the horizon clearly.

Dmello’s wife is on kidney dialysis; he took a job as a dog walker because the flexible hours meant he could spend more time with her and their 14-year-old daughter. At home, dust from outside builds up, while outside he’s exposed to fumes and particulates. Demello says that sometimes breathing is a problem.

He has seen air purifiers in the hospital, but the cost—cheaper models start at 6,000 rupees ($72)—is out of reach. Like most people he knows, he fell ill with a cough and cold this winter and couldn’t work.

Sixty percent of India’s nearly 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day, below the World Bank’s median poverty line. Not counting farm workers, 18 percent of the country’s population work outdoors.

Exposure to high levels of ambient PM 2.5 (particulate matter under 2.5 micrometers, which gets stuck in people’s lungs) can cause deadly illnesses such as lung cancer, strokes, and heart disease. Deaths linked to PM 2.5 pollution have more than doubled in the past 20 years, claiming 979,900 lives in 2019. What’s more, according to the World Air Quality Report 2022, air pollution costs India $150 billion a year.

In 2019, when 102 cities in India failed to meet the country’s air pollution standards, the government launched a National Clean Air Programme. Less than five years later, the number of failing cities has grown to 132.

National and state governments have tried unsuccessfully to address the air quality crisis. In Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party, which runs the city, tried an “odd-even” scheme in 2016, when the air quality dropped considerably. Private vehicles with registration plates ending in odd numbers could drive on odd dates, and those with even numbers on even dates. Environmentalists say it had minimal impact on air pollution levels. Delhi, as well as nearby Gurugram, which is a major tech hub, have also tried technological solutions. In 2021, the Supreme Court ordered the Delhi government to install two massive, 24-meter-high “smog towers” to filter particulates from the air, while Gurugram has put outdoor air purifiers in place. In February, Mumbai’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, announced plans to install 14 outdoor air purifiers across the city.

However, experts believe these measures are a dead end. “Purifiers don’t work,” says Ronak Sutaria, founder of Respirer Living Sciences, an urban data startup that monitors air pollution. “I think there’s broad consensus amongst the research in the scientific community that purifiers do not solve the problem.”

Outdoor purifiers are a last resort when other methods of controlling pollution have failed, according to Pallav Purohit, a senior research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. “It makes sense to use air purifiers only when traditional methods of pollution control are insufficient,” he says. “The shortfall with most outdoor air purification systems is a limited area of coverage, limited efficacy, and high cost.”

Purohit says the purifiers create narrow columns of purified air that only really benefit people who are close to them for an extended period of time.

Following Mumbai’s air quality crisis this winter, critics accused the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board of moving air quality sensors to “cleaner” parts of the city.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's Pay-to-Breathe market is soaring. Facing #toxic #air, wealthy #Indians are buying air purifiers, creating a booming market. But 60% of India’s 1.3 billion people live on less than $3.10 a day, below the World Bank’s median #poverty line. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/breathing-is-a-luxury-in-indias-air-crisis

Purohit says the purifiers create narrow columns of purified air that only really benefit people who are close to them for an extended period of time.

Following Mumbai’s air quality crisis this winter, critics accused the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board of moving air quality sensors to “cleaner” parts of the city.

Meanwhile, India’s wealthier residents have taken matters into their own hands. Air purifier brands have become a common topic of conversation among middle-class residents. People who can afford to do so move from air-purified homes (where each room often has its own purifier) to air-purified shops and malls, driven in air-purified cars. Brands have enlisted cricket stars and Bollywood celebrities, advertising in English-language newspapers, on social media, and on billboards.

If the combination of advertisements and news coverage is to be believed, breathing air in India’s capital is equivalent to 50 cigarettes a day during Diwali, a Hindu festival where many people burst firecrackers, and 10 cigarettes a day during the winter. For an Indian Independence Day advert, Sharp suggests “Impurities Quit India,” referring to the “Quit India” movement from India’s freedom struggle. News articles meet every spike in poor air quality with air purifier advice: “Delhi air quality turns severe: 5 Air purifiers that will help you breathe clean air,” reads one; “Planning To Buy An Air Purifier Amid Falling AQI? Know the Costs, Other Factors” reads another.

Deekshith Vara Prasad, founder and CEO of Indian-made air purifier AirOK Technologies, says his company’s sales have grown 18 percent since 2018. (AirOK Technologies’ air purifiers are largely used in hospitals and offices.)

Prasad says surging demand has led to substandard products in the market. To work on the air in India’s cities, purifiers need to filter out fine particulate matter, fungus, bacteria, viruses, and toxic gasses like sulfur and nitrous oxides. There are “hundreds” of pollutants, he says. “If I remove two pollutants, I can claim I ‘remove pollutants.’”

The borders of private spaces, like offices and, increasingly, hotels—which sometimes market themselves based on their air purification—are a stark illustration of the unequal access to clean air. Door attendants, valets, bellhops, and security guards working the entrances and exits to these buildings don’t breathe the purified air available to those inside.

Waghmore says this division intersects with India’s social inequalities around status and caste and that air purifiers only consolidate the ideology of “purity” as something that is central to the lives of dominant caste.

Such inequality has severe consequences, as those from disadvantaged castes already face considerable barriers in accessing health care.

Waghmore says the heightened sense of privileged individualism—where the rich have the means to fend for themselves—“has the worst consequences in poor countries, where governments are yet to invest morally and economically in public infrastructure and transport to counter environmental degradation.”

K, who regularly treats those suffering from India’s air pollution inequality, puts it more succinctly. “I don’t think people should live with this,” she say, adding that everyone needs to take demand solutions. “If you don’t get something as basic as fresh air, then what’s the point of living in our country?”

Riaz Haq said...

India visit felt like visiting ‘state from the future,’ says Pakistani analyst Uzair Younus - BusinessToday


Younus was speaking about his experience during a recent visit to India, the country’s digital strides and communal harmony as well as extremely high inflation in Pakistan at a podcast on a YouTube channel named The Pakistan Experience


Pakistani foreign policy expert Uzair Younus said his visit to India felt like he was visiting a state from the future. He said that the Pakistani public is being fed the “lies of hate for the sake of politics.” Younus was speaking about his experience during a recent visit to India, the country’s digital strides and communal harmony as well as extremely high inflation in Pakistan at a podcast on a YouTube channel named The Pakistan Experience, news agency ANI reported.

He said Indians have a ‘this is our moment’ attitude due to the investment in infrastructure development and efforts to digitise the economy. Younus stated, “The Indians are brimming with energy. They exude positive vibes and an attitude that ‘this is our moment. If not now, then never.” He added that he was impressed when he saw a cobbler and a paan shop owner in Mumbai offering QR code scanners for digital payment.

Younus added that he also saw people eat kachoris at eateries and leave just like that. He said, “I was wondering why the shopkeeper was allowing his customers to leave without paying for their meals. Then I saw that there was a Paytm QR code and the customers were simply scanning the code to make the payments.”

He added that fintech companies in India sell smart speakers connected to the merchant’s wallet so that he can keep track of the payments received. These speakers make an announcement every time a payment is received. After this, the host of the podcast asked Younus if he had visited a state of the future. To this, the foreign policy analyst said yes.

Younus added that cash circulation in India is 13 per cent of the country’s GDP, lower than 20 per cent in Pakistan. The Pakistani analyst also stated he was blown away by how everyone in India has zero balance accounts, UPI and mobile phones. He also explained that the cost of sending money via UPI is zero since the government provides the requisite infrastructure.

He noted, “The cost of sending money on UPI is zero because the Indian government provides for the necessary infrastructure. The Indian government mandates that every citizen with an Aadhaar card should have the right to zero balance, zero cost bank account.”

Like many Pakistanis nowadays, Younus also said that the measures taken by the incumbent Narendra Modi-led NDA government in India have transformed lives. He added that government subsidies made digital wallets more popular and encouraged the delivery of services online, reduced corruption, and enabled more online payments.

He further underscored that Indians cannot only open a bank account on an e-wallet but also avail insurance and credit. Younus said, “This is what the Modi government has done in India. He was criticised at the time and was blamed for wasting government money. People said that opening bank accounts with zero balance, with subsidies from banks, would result in nothing. But it has transformed lives.”

Ahmed said...

Mr . younis says :

Like many Pakistanis nowadays, Younus also said that the measures taken by the incumbent Narendra Modi-led NDA government in India have transformed lives. He added that government subsidies made digital wallets more popular and encouraged the delivery of services online, reduced corruption, and enabled more online payments.

My comment :

How has the policy of BJP government transformed lives of common people of India when majority of the people are unemployed and huge chunk of population is still living in poverty in the country ?

According to video of Mr . Rehan Allah wala , their are as far as I remember atleast 40 million people in Pakistan who are uneducated out of total population of Pakistan which is 220 million .

In India , their are atleast 700 million people who are illiterate( uneducated ) out of total population of India which is over 1 billion .

Ahmed said...

Dear Sir

According to this article
Younus added that he also saw people eat kachoris at eateries and leave just like that. He said, “I was wondering why the shopkeeper was allowing his customers to leave without paying for their meals. Then I saw that there was a Paytm QR code and the customers were simply scanning the code to make the payments.”


My comment :

This is actually called how to apply technology in commerce and business and Indians are very good at it . It is very said to see that how technology conscious people are becoming in India specially shop keepers .

It is said to see that their are very few shops and Marts in Pakistan where the sellers are actually using credit card service to accept payment from the customers .


Ahmed said...

Uzair Younis sahab said :
India visit felt like visiting ‘state from the future,’ says Pakistani analyst Uzair Younus - BusinessToday

Comment :
It is true that India is at the stage of transformation but it hasn’t reached that level that we can call India has a “ state from the future “.

It is true that Indian government is keen to introduce and apply such technologies in business and commerce which is very good but the question is that how many of these technologies are locally produced or invented in India?


Riaz Haq said...

India is home to a quarter of the world’s hunger burden with nearly 224.3 million people undernourished in the country. The situation is even more dire among children under the age of five — 36.1 million are stunted, accounting for 31% being chronically malnourished.


Patel said...

In absolute numbers, extreme poverty in India according to worldbank, is about 1%. According to your figures, it is 34 million for India, which is little more than 2%. Pakistan's stands at 1.9 million, is less than 1%, has done better than India in multi dimensional poverty, but if you look at overall poverty, it has increased to 36%. In case of India overall poverty has decreased to 12%.

Riaz Haq said...

Patel: "In absolute numbers, extreme poverty in India according to worldbank, is about 1%"

Extreme poverty (people living below $2.15 day in 2017 PPP dollars) in India is 10% while it is 4.9% in Pakistan, according to the World Bank.


Riaz Haq said...

Both Russia and Ukraine reported higher levels of happiness in the latest report despite the escalation of the conflict between the two countries since February 2022. According to the index, Russia’s ranking improved from 80 in 2022 to 70 this year, while Ukraine’s ranking improved from 98 to 92. The 2022 report was based on data from 2019 to 2021.

John Helliwell, one of the authors of the World Happiness Report, said that benevolence, especially acts of kindness towards strangers, increased dramatically in 2021 and remained high in 2022, CNN reported.

“Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Why Prof. Ashoka Mody Believes India is Broken | Princeton International


I have long felt that that upbeat story is completely divorced from the lived reality of the vast majority of Indians. I wanted to write a book about that lived reality, about jobs, education, healthcare, the cities Indians live in, the justice system they encounter, the air they breathe, the water they drink. And when you look at India through that lens of that reality, the progress is halting at best and far removed from the aspirations of people and what might have been. India is broken in the sense that for hundreds of millions of Indians, jobs are hard to get, and education and health care are poor. The justice system is coercive and brutal. The air quality remains extraordinarily poor. The rivers are dying. And it's not clear that things are going to get better. Underlying that brokenness, social norms and public accountability have eroded to a point where India seems to be in a catch-22: Unaccountable politicians do not impose accountability on themselves; therefore, no one has an incentive to impose accountability for policy priorities that might benefit large numbers of people. The elite are happy in their gated first-world communities. They shrug their shoulders and say, “What exactly is the problem?”


Prof Ashoka Mody interviewed by Barkha Dutt


Riaz Haq said...

Vulnerable employment, total (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate) - Pakistan, India | Data

Bangladesh 54%

Pakistan 54%

India 74%



Sandeep Manudhane
Why the size of the economy means little
a simple analysis

1) We are often told that India is now a $3.5 trillion economy. It is growing fast too. Hence, we must be happy with this growth in size as it is the most visible sign of right direction. This is the Quantity is Good argument.

2) We are told that such growth can happen only if policies are right, and all engines of the GDP - consumption, exports, investment, govt. consumption - are doing their job well. We tend to believe it.

3) We are also told that unless GDP grows, how can Indians (on average) grow? Proof is given to us in the form of 'rising per capita incomes' of India. And we celebrate "India racing past the UK" in GDP terms, ignoring that the average Indian today is 20 times poorer than the average Britisher.

4) All this reasoning sounds sensible, logical, credible, and utterly worth reiterating. So we tend to think - good, GDP size on the whole matters the most.

5) Wrong. This is not how it works in real life.

6) It is wrong due to three major reasons
(a) Distribution effect
(b) Concentration of power effect
(c) Inter-generational wealth and income effect

7) First comes the distribution effect. Since 1991, the indisputable fact recorded by economists is that "rich have gotten richer, and poor steadily stagnant or poorer". Thomas Piketty recorded it so well he's almost never spoken in New India now! Thus, we have a super-rich tiny elite of 2-3% at the top, and a vast ocean of stagnant-income 70-80% down below. And this is not changing at all. Do not be fooled by rising nominal per capita figures - factor in inflation and boom! And remember - per capita is an average figure, and it conceals the concentration.

8) Second is the Concentration of power effect. RBI ex-deputy governor Viral Acharya wrote that just 5 big industrial groups - Tata, Birlas, Adanis, Ambanis, Mittals - now disproportionately own the economic assets of India, and directly contribute to inflation dynamics (via their pricing power). This concentration is rising dangerously each year for some time now, and all government policies are designed to push it even higher. Hence, a rising GDP size means they corner more and more and more of the incremental annual output. The per capita rises, but somehow magically people don't experience it in 'steadily improving lives'.

9) Third is the Inter-generational wealth and income effect. Ever wondered why more than 90% of India is working in unstructured, informal jobs, with near-zero social security? Ever wondered why rich families smoothly pass on 100% of their assets across generations while paying zero taxes? Ever wondered how taxes paid by the rich as a per cent of their incomes are not as high as those paid by you and me (normal citizens)? India has no inheritance tax, but has a hugely corporate-friendly tax regime with many policies tailor-made to augment their wealth. Trickle down is impossible in this system. But that was the spiel sold to us in 1991, and later, each year! There is no incentive for giant corporates (and rich folks) to generate more formal jobs, as an ocean of underpaid slaves is ready to slog their entire lives for them. Add to that automation, and now, AI systems!

Sadly, as India's GDP grows in size, it means little for the masses because trickle-down is near zero. That is because new formal jobs aren't being generated at scale at all (which in itself is a big topic for analysis).
So, our Quantity of GDP is different from Quality of GDP.


Riaz Haq said...

Income of poorest fifth plunged 53% in 5 yrs; those at top surged | India News,The Indian Express


In a trend unprecedented since economic liberalisation, the annual income of the poorest 20% of Indian households, constantly rising since 1995, plunged 53% in the pandemic year 2020-21 from their levels in 2015-16. In the same five-year period, the richest 20% saw their annual household income grow 39% reflecting the sharp contrast Covid’s economic impact has had on the bottom of the pyramid and the top.


A new survey, which highlights the economic impact of the pandemic on Indian households, found that the income of the poorest 20 percent of the country declined by 53 percent in 2020-21 from that in 2015-16.


The survey, conducted by the People's Research on India's Consumer Economy (PRICE), a Mumbai-based think tank, also shows that in contrast, the same period saw the annual household income of the richest 20 percent grow by 39 percent.

Conducted between April and October 2021, the survey covered 20,000 households in the first stage, and 42,000 households in the second stage. It spanned over 120 towns and 800 villages in 100 districts.

Income Erosion in All Households Except the Rich Ones
The survey indicated that while the poorest 20 percent households witnessed an income erosion of 53 percent, the lower-middle-class saw a 39-percent decline in household income. The income of the middle-class, meanwhile, reduced by 9 percent.

However, the upper-middle-class and richest households saw their incomes rise by 7 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
The survey also showed that the richest households, on an average, accumulated more income per household as well as pooled income in the past five years than any other five-year period since liberalisation.

While the richest 20 percent accounted for 50.2 percent of the total household income in 1995, the survey shows that their share jumped to 56.3 percent in 2021. In contrast, the share of the poorest 20 percent dropped from 5.9 percent to 3.3 percent in the same period.

While 90 percent of the poorest 20 percent in 2016 lived in rural India, the figure dropped to 70 percent in 2021. In urban areas as well, the share of the poorest 20 percent households went from 10 percent in 2016 to 30 percent in 2021.

"The data reflects that casual labourers, petty traders, household workers, among others, in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities got hit the most by the pandemic. During the survey, we also noticed that while in rural areas, people in the lower middle income category (Q2) moved to the middle income category (Q3), in the urban areas, the shift has been downwards, from Q3 to Q2. In fact, the rise in poverty level of the urban poor has pulled down the household income of the entire category," reported The Indian Express, quoting Rajesh Shukla, MD and CEO of PRICE.

Most Middle-Class Breadwinners Are Illiterate or Have Primary Schooling
The survey further shows that while a majority of the breadwinners in 'Rich India' (top 20 percent) have completed high-school education (60 percent, of which 40 percent are graduates and above), nearly half of 'Middle India' (60 percent) only have primary education.

As for the bottom 20 percent, 86 percent are either illiterate or just have primary education. Only 6 percent are graduates and above.

(With inputs from The Indian Express, ICE360 2021 Survey.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Riaz Haq said...

In the absence of real data, India's stats are all being manufactured by BJP to win elections.

Postponing India’s census is terrible for the country

But it may suit Narendra Modi just fine


Narendra Modi often overstates his achievements. For example, the Hindu-nationalist prime minister’s claim that all Indian villages have been electrified on his watch glosses over the definition: only public buildings and 10% of households need a connection for the village to count as such. And three years after Mr Modi declared India “open-defecation free”, millions of villagers are still purging al fresco. An absence of up-to-date census information makes it harder to check such inflated claims. It is also a disaster for the vast array of policymaking reliant on solid population and development data.


Three years ago India’s government was scheduled to pose its citizens a long list of basic but important questions. How many people live in your house? What is it made of? Do you have a toilet? A car? An internet connection? The answers would refresh data from the country’s previous census in 2011, which, given India’s rapid development, were wildly out of date. Because of India’s covid-19 lockdown, however, the questions were never asked.

Almost three years later, and though India has officially left the pandemic behind, there has been no attempt to reschedule the decennial census. It may not happen until after parliamentary elections in 2024, or at all. Opposition politicians and development experts smell a rat.


For a while policymakers can tide themselves over with estimates, but eventually these need to be corrected with accurate numbers. “Right now we’re relying on data from the 2011 census, but we know our results will be off by a lot because things have changed so much since then,” says Pronab Sen, a former chairman of the National Statistical Commission who works on the household-consumption survey. And bad data lead to bad policy. A study in 2020 estimated that some 100m people may have missed out on food aid to which they were entitled because the distribution system uses decade-old numbers.

Similarly, it is important to know how many children live in an area before building schools and hiring teachers. The educational misfiring caused by the absence of such knowledge is particularly acute in fast-growing cities such as Delhi or Bangalore, says Narayanan Unni, who is advising the government on the census. “We basically don’t know how many people live in these places now, so proper planning for public services is really hard.”

The home ministry, which is in charge of the census, continues to blame its postponement on the pandemic, most recently in response to a parliamentary question on December 13th. It said the delay would continue “until further orders”, giving no time-frame for a resumption of data-gathering. Many statisticians and social scientists are mystified by this explanation: it is over a year since India resumed holding elections and other big political events.

Riaz Haq said...

One-tenth of India's population escaped poverty in 5 years - government report
By Manoj Kumar


NEW DELHI, July 17 (Reuters) - Nearly 135 million people, around 10% of India's population, escaped poverty in the five years to March 2021, a government report found on Monday.

Rural areas saw the strongest fall in poverty, according to the study, which used the United Nations' Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), based on 12 indicators such as malnutrition, education and sanitation. If people are deprived in three or more areas, they are identified as "MPI poor."

"Improvements in nutrition, years of schooling, sanitation and cooking fuel played a significant role in bringing down poverty," said Suman Bery, vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog, the government think-tank that released the report.

The percentage of the population living in poverty fell to 15% in 2019-21 from 25% in 2015/16, according to the report, which was based on the 2019-21 National Family Health Survey.

A report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released last week said the number of people living in multidimensional poverty fell to 16.4% of India's population in 2021 from 55% in 2005.

According to UNDP estimates, the number of people, who lived below the $2.15 per day poverty line had declined to 10% in India in 2021.

India's federal government offers free food grain to about 800 million people, about 57% of country's 1.4 billion population, while states spend billions of dollars on subsidising education, health, electricity and other services.

The state that saw the largest number moving out of poverty was Uttar Pradesh, with 343 million people, followed by the states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, according to the report.

Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Conor Humphries

Riaz Haq said...

India's impressive GDP data has some puzzling elements


Tepid consumption

After posting year-on-year growth of 2.2 percent in October-December, private final consumption expenditure did pick up some pace in January-March, but only to 2.8 percent. According to Rahul Bajoria, managing director and head of emerging markets Asia (ex-China) economics at Barclays, the rise in private consumption "appears weaker" than what high-frequency indicators suggest.

Further, this weakness "does not reconcile with the robust value-added growth of consumption-led sectors like Trade, Hotels, Transport and Communication services", Madhavi Arora, lead economist at Emkay Global Financial Services, said in a note.

The 'Trade, Hotels, Transport, Communication, and Services related to broadcasting' segment posted gross value added (GVA) growth of 9.1 percent in January-March, second only to the 10.4 percent expansion reported by construction.

GDP-GVA divide

If GDP growth sharply surprised on the upside, GVA growth outperformed even that, coming in at 6.5 percent in January-March.

GDP is the sum of GVA and indirect taxes, net of subsidies. As such, higher GVA growth is suggestive of a contraction in net indirect taxes.

However, the latest data from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) shows the Centre's expenditure on major subsidies was Rs 1.8 lakh crore in January-March—up only 3 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, indirect tax collections increased by 7.3 percent over the same period. On a net basis, indirect taxes were 6 percent higher last quarter. It is only if Integrated Goods and Services Tax collections are excluded that the indirect tax mop-up is lower by 1.4 percent in January-March on a year-on-year basis.

Rising discrepancies

A curious subhead of the GDP data is 'discrepancies', used to explain any difference between the GDP calculated through the income and expenditure methods.

In January-March, the discrepancies amounted to a negative Rs 1.28 lakh crore, implying that the GDP arrived at from the expenditure side is greater than that from the income side. Whether this is indicative of demand being overestimated is anybody's guess.

What can be said without uncertainty is that the size of discrepancies, whether negative or positive, is rising, with its absolute value now at a six-quarter high. This leaves plenty of room for future revisions in the headline GDP growth number.

Constant revisions

This conveniently brings us to where we started: How did all economists not read it right?

"The reason everybody got this wrong is the alarming regularity with which the data is getting revised," noted Kunal Kundu, India economist at Societe Generale.

"The release of October-December data saw a revision of data for the previous quarters over the past three years. The latest release once again saw a revision of recently revised quarterly data, making forecasting a rather hazardous task," Kundu added.

Constant revisions have indeed been the bane for policymakers as well as economists. After data for October-December, released in February, showed weak private consumption growth in the quarter, V Anantha Nageswaran, the chief economic adviser to the government, was at pains to point out that "data revision to the prior years has made a 6 percent growth rate come down to 2 percent".

Riaz Haq said...

The poverty in Pakistan increased within one year from 34.2% to 39.4% with 12.5 million more people falling below the poverty line of $3.65 per day income level, according to the WB.



According to the World Bank, over 40% of India's population lives in moderate poverty, which is defined as $3.65 per person per day. This is one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world, with real GDP growth of 7.7% in Q1-Q3 FY22/23.