India: Poverty, Employment, and Social Services

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This report consists of two parts. Chapter 1, which analyzes recent economic developments, and chapters 2 - 6, which discuss the problem of poverty in India. The review of recent economic developments emphasizes the vigorous recovery the Indian economy has made since the drought of 1987. However, it is emphasized that the fiscal and balance of payments deficits will have to be reduced in order to establish a sound base for future economic growth. The second part of the report finds that the more rapid growth of the economy during the 70s and 80s, coupled with an expansion of programs aimed at poverty alleviation has led to a decline in the incidence of poverty. At the same time, poverty has become more strongly concentrated in Eastern India and more closely associated with landlessness and wage dependency. It suggests that, while more rapid growth can lead to greater progress on the poverty front, policies which have inhibited the growth of employment both in agricultural and non-agricultural pursuits will have to be changed. Finally, the report urges that some sort of safety net, in the form of guaranteed employment will be required to protect those who cannot benefit directly or immediately from the growth process.

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