Social capital and Budgets: The picture is varied, not just black or white

India's ranking on the UN's HDI has remained more or less unchanged, suggesting the country is doing no better or worse than others, though most are growing much slower than India, writes T N Ninan

T N Ninan

A common criticism of government Budgets of recent years is that their focus has been on capital investment, to the relative neglect of the social sectors. The latter is reflected (for instance) in the declining budgetary provisions for the employment guarantee programme, and stagnant provisions for education. This, when a fifth of the relevant age cohort still does not complete secondary education, the number of primary and community health centres has remained broadly unchanged over the years, and real rural wages are broadly where they were in the pre-pandemic period.
A response to this criticism can be found in the Economic Survey for 2022-23, which, while faithfully recording all of the above, shows also that the picture is varied, not just black or white. Notably, general government (i.e. Centre and states combined) expenditure on the social sector has been going up, as a share of total government expenditure and as a share of gross domestic p
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Feb 24 2023 | 6:28 PM IST

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