Stupid Economics: Blaming The Wretched As Well As Hungry For Nutrient Inflation

Obsessed amongst the growth figures, the planners receive got tried but failed to cover the ugly underbelly of India’s economical growth.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia has been at the helm of India’s planning procedure for quite some fourth dimension now. It is during his tenure every bit the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission that Republic of Republic of India has been pushed deeper in addition to deeper into the quagmire of poverty. With the largest population of hungry inwards the world, the Global Hunger Index 2010 has placed Republic of Republic of India inwards the pit.

I wasn’t thence shocked when I read Ahluwalia blame the hungry for the rising inwards nutrient inflation. From somebody who literally lives inwards the ivory tower of the Yojana Bhawan, anything tin move last expected. But what, of course, surprised me was the audacity amongst which he blamed the piteous in addition to hungry inwards the rural countryside for the rising inflation. Although I loathe to tell but at that spot tin move last zero to a greater extent than stupid than blaming the piteous inwards the villages every bit if they receive got started eating to a greater extent than in addition to thence the pressure level on nutrient prices.

Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 few years back, old U.S. of America President George Bush had made that ignominious remark shifting the blame for the 2007 global nutrient crisis to the hungry Indians. He had said that the nutrient crisis was because the Indians had started eating more. In an interview, I had in addition to so replied that if Indians started eating every bit much every bit the Americans do, in addition to so likely the the world would ask to grow nutrient crops on the moon.

While ane tin move ignore what George Bush had said, how tin move ane pardon the caput of India’s planning procedure who should know much better. It also reflects on the disconnect India’s Planning Commission has amongst the existing dry reason realities. Obsessed amongst the growth figures that drib dead on to last tossed some amongst much fanfare, the planners receive got tried but failed to cover the ugly underbelly of India’s economical growth.

Only a few weeks back, Republic of Republic of India was ranked 67th amidst 84 hungry countries of the world. Two years back, inwards 2008, the Global Hunger Index had placed Republic of Republic of India at 66th seat amidst 88 countries. In other words, Republic of Republic of India had slipped yet lower downward the pit inwards the yesteryear 2 years. I can’t fathom how the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) had placed Republic of Republic of India inwards such a depression esteem if the piteous inwards the villages had started eating more.

Take some other international written report that was submitted yesteryear the Save the Children Fund simply a few days prior to the United Nations Summit on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that was held inwards the final calendar week of September inwards New York. With over 5,000 children succumbing to malnutrition every day, Republic of Republic of India had in ane lawsuit once again topped the global ranking. This shocking disclosure is plenty to lay every Indian to shame. I wonder how the caput of Indian Planning Commission tin move fifty-fifty walk amongst his caput held high.

Let me also describe your attending to the 2006-07 written report of the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) which brings out the stark truth. It tells us that the correlation betwixt hunger in addition to economical growth is robustly positive — to a greater extent than the economical growth, to a greater extent than people become to bed hungry. This challenges the widely held stance that economical growth pulls piteous out of poverty in addition to hunger.

What makes the alarming province of affairs yet worse is that e’er since economical liberalisation was launched inwards 1991, the NSSO tells us that cereal consumption has been on a steady decline, amongst no corresponding increase inwards the intake of to a greater extent than nutritious eggs, vegetables, fruits in addition to milk. It way hunger has been on a rising in addition to is forthwith to a greater extent than widespread in addition to well-entrenched. So far the feeling was that amongst the changing nutrient habits, people receive got shifted from cereals to nutritious foods similar fruits, vegetables in addition to milk. This supposition also does non concur truthful anymore.

Cereal consumption

The spend upward inwards cereal consumption has to a greater extent than or less followed a steady designing inwards the rural in addition to urban areas, in addition to of course, much faster inwards the rural areas. I don’t remember Ahluwalia e’er read this report. Accordingly, per capita cereal consumption per calendar month inwards the rural areas across the province has fallen from 13.4 kg inwards 1993-94 to 11.7 kg inwards 2006-07.

The spend upward has been sharper betwixt the menses 2004 in addition to 2007 when simply inwards 3 years, cereals consumption roughshod from 12.1 kg to 11.7 kg. In the urban centres the spend upward was from 10.6 kg inwards 1993-94 to 9.6 kg inwards 2006-07. In a largely vegetarian society, cereals constitute the unmarried of import beginning of nutrition in addition to thence its importance inwards the Indian context is good established.

This is yet non the existent picture. The NSSO survey does non encompass the menses 2007-08 when the the world was faced amongst an unprecedented rising on global nutrient prices. In whatsoever case, the average trouble solid expenditure on nutrient shows an increasing trend, but does non interpret into to a greater extent than nutrient consumption. It entirely way nutrient prices receive got been on an upswing, in addition to the piteous are finding it hard to fill upward their bellies. The recent cost rising had made it yet to a greater extent than hard for the piteous to last good fed. Cereal consumption thence is expected to autumn yet farther inwards 2009-10, in addition to the touching on it must receive got had on the piteous in addition to hungry tin move last good imagined.

Source: Deccan Herald, October 28, 2010