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Nagaland

Nagaland among moderate developed states

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By EMN Updated: Sep 27, 2013 12:52 am
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Al Ngullie
DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 26

THE hilly little state of Nagaland may be a little on its way up the national development index – and possibly qualify for bigger funds – possibly – if the Ministry for Finance, Government of India, accepts the recommendations of the Dr. Raghuram Rajan Committee for Evolving Composite Development Index of States. The Dr. Raghuram Rajan Committee has declared Nagaland among states that are not ‘least developed’ or underdeveloped but are ‘less developed’, and ranked higher than a number of states bigger than the Nagas’ own. Those Nagaland outranked include Assam, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Nagaland is the only state that has a shrunken plan size after this fiscal’s 13% reduction in the state plan. If the recommendations are accepted crisp green days are ahead for the state thanks to the ranking.
The committee was instated this year headed by Chief Economic Advisor of the Ministry of Finance Dr Raghuram G. Rajan, to consider backwardness of the states on terms of national average per capita income and other human development indicators.
The Dr. Raghuram Rajan Committee submitted its findings to Minister for Finance P Chidambaram today, September 26, Thursday in New Delhi.
According to the report of the committee Nagaland is ranked third trailing behind Manipur and West Bengal in the “Less Developed” category.
The state has secured a score of 0.546 on the “Underdevelopment/Need” index and is ahead of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Mizoram, Gujarat, Tripura, Karnataka, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh in the stated category. The report has excluded the seven Union Territories.
The ‘Relatively Developed’ states are led by Haryana with a score of 0.395. The others in the category are Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa.
The ‘Least Developed’ states are Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Receiving the report, the finance minister said that the demand for funds and special attention by different States will be “more than adequately met.”
The minister’s statement is based on the logic that greater financial impetus would be given to states that trail in the development index to bring them up to the ‘developed’ index. He has already instructed the department of Economic Affairs of the Finance Ministry to examine the recommendations of the Dr. Raghuram Rajan committee.
The committee has proposed a ‘general method’ of allocating funds from the centre to the states based on “development needs” as well as its “development performance.”
The committee had also been asked to ‘suggest methods for identifying backwardness of states using a variety of criteria and also to recommend how the criteria may be reflected in future planning and devolution of funds from the central government to the states.’
“The committee has recommended that each state may get a fixed basic allocation of 0.3 percent of overall funds, to which will be added its share stemming from need and performance to get its overall share,” Chidambaram stated.
The committee has come up with a ‘multi-dimensional index of backwardness’ based on per capita consumption as measured by the NSSO and the poverty ratio outlined in the Twelfth Plan. “The committee has recommended that States that score 0.6 and above on the Index may be classified as ‘least developed; States that score below 0.6 and above 0.4 may be classified as ‘less developed; and States that score below 0.4 may be classified as ‘relatively developed’.”
Chidambaram also stated that the committee has observed that the “demand for funds and special attention of different states will be more than adequately met by the twin recommendations of the basic allocation of 0.3 percent of overall funds to each State and the categorization of states that score 0.6 and above as ‘least developed’ states.
Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is said to have approved the proposal to place the report of the committee in the public domain. The Prime Minister has also directed that the recommendations of the committee be examined and necessary action taken, he said. Likewise, the department of Economic Affairs of the ministry has been asked to examine the report and take necessary action, the Finance Minister added.

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By EMN Updated: Sep 27, 2013 12:52:20 am