Morung Express News
Dimapur | July 4
The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in the Parliament on July 4 projecting a 7 per cent GDP growth rate in 2019-20, maintaining its fastest growing large economy tag in the world.
The survey, considered as the most authoritative and updated source of data on India's economy, had good news and bad news for Nagaland State. The survey also acts as an indicator to policymakers for future course of action.
On the bright side, the survey informed that the ‘Give It Up’ campaign, the voluntary giving up of subsidies, saw the North East states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram with higher rate of subsidy surrender as compared to larger states that availed much more subsidy. Individual state data on this was not given. Nagaland is also one among the 100% Open Defecation Free (ODF) states.
Again, on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Survey citing NITI Aayog’s report, observed that Nagaland has performed well in three parameters - Institutions and equality, and Ecosystem and Biodiversity. The performance on ending poverty and hunger were also notable.
The SDGs are global goals, built upon the erstwhile Millennium Development Goals. They are exhaustive, universal and integrated and emphasize on core areas of poverty and inequality, economic growth, innovation, sustainable consumption and production, climate change, peace and justice and partnerships.
Lowest minimum wage rate in India
Despite some achievements, Nagaland's report card ran in the negative.
For instance, the survey noted that Nagaland has the lowest notified minimum wage rate at Rs. 115 per day for Unskilled Workers, well below the Central Government adopted non-statutory National Floor Level Minimum (NFLMW) of Rs. 176 per day w.e.f. June 1, 2017. Delhi had the highest rate at Rs. 538, followed by Andaman & Nicobar at Rs. 451 and Karnataka at Rs. 411.
It may be noted that the Department of Labour, Nagaland in pursuance of the State Government’s notification revised rates of minimum wages for the scheduled employments for Unskilled Workers at Rs. 176 per day, with “immediate effect from June 14.” However, even with the revised rate, Nagaland would be among the bottom 5.
Agriculture and employment
In the ranking of States based on another NITI Aayog Study Report in terms of implementation of marketing and other farmer friendly reforms, Nagaland was ranked 17 among 30 States/UTs.
The Economic Survey underscored that “access to timely credit or finance is a critical determinant of profitability of agriculture.”
However, the distribution of agricultural credit was low in most North East States, including Nagaland, with the survey stating that the share of the region has been less than “one per cent in total agricultural credit disbursement.”
“If credit is not available to purchase seeds at the time of sowing, or if lack of credit delays the administering of fertilizers, it can severely impact agricultural productivity,” it added.
Another concern for Nagaland as per the survey was its performances in crucial economic related parameters in the SDGs. For instance, in the Goals 9 of the SDGs - Infrastructure and Industrialization - the State has ‘zero’ score out of a possible 100. The State also scored below par and less than national average on Economic Growth, Resilient Cities, Gender Equality, Health, Education and energy.
The survey also noted that Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) has been notified in 28 States/UTs have set up the Regulatory Authorities and that North East States- Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim - are under process to notify the rules.
“The core objective of this transformative legislation is to ensure regulation and promote real estate sector in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect the interest of home buyers,” it added.