Rajasthan has been identified as one of the “least developed” states in a report on under-development tabled by a panel led by former chief economic advisor and the present governor of RBI, Dr Raghuram Rajan, on Thursday.
The state has scored 0.626 on the underdevelopment/need index (See box) clubbing it with states like Bihar, UP and MP that have been traditionally labelled as BIMARU for lacking in development.
While, the report contradicts government’s claims of Rajasthan entering the league of developed states, it also makes the state government eligible for a special package from Centre, though the panel has strongly advocated against it.
Neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Gujarat are way ahead and score much less on the underdevelopment index.
However, economists don’t quite agree with the panel’s findings. Member of state Planning Board VS Vyas believes that the report doesn’t reflect the true picture of state. “In sectors like infant mortality, social schemes, industrial growth, Rajasthan has made progress, there are innovative schemes in health sector,” Vyas told dna.
Surjeet Singh, director, Institute of development studies said, “If this report is followed, a state like Uttrakhand will get less money because its score is 0.383. Rajasthan is better developed than UP based on their scores, but then delivery of infrastructure is more costly here than in UP looking into the demographic conditions.”
“The government’s claims are falling flat. The state has been pushed into BIMARU category,” commented BJP spokesperson Kailash Nath Bhatt.
Congress argued it has no magical wand and results take time to come, “We have made investments in social welfare scheme, the results will come over a period of time,” said Archana Sharma, spokesperson of Congress.