Hello, Bharat Sarkar… Rural India is Hungry!
Consumer Spending has declined after 40 years and this is a serious indication of malnutrition.
Even Bill Gates is aware of the problem but, our own government is probably busy with other things.
People are not becoming ‘diet conscious’ but still the food consumption has declined. What does that mean? It means that currently the world’s richest man (Bill Gates) is right when he says, “One thing that will help India in a big way is to get rid of malnutrition.” But, before that we need to accept that malnutrition is a serious problem and we need to do something about it.
So, while our Finance Minister is trying to address the prevailing issues in telecom and automobile industries, here’s another issue and probably a more serious one. By the way, the issue of malnutrition is accompanied by rising retail inflation and Consumer Price Inflation (CPI). See, if lesser cars get sold or lesser telecom operators remain in the market, that’s still not as serious as people dying due to hunger. That’s our point of view though (hopefully the government agrees).
We know you believe in what we say but still, here’s a proof: the National Statistical Office or NSO (not to be read as JNU) conducted a survey “Key Indicators: Household Consumer Expenditure in India”. According to the data obtained in this survey, the monthly per capital consumption expenditure has gone down 3.7 percent i.e. from Rs. 1501 to Rs. 1446.
Breaking this further down, the rural spending has decreased by 8.8 percent while the urban spending has gone down by roughly 2 percent. Also, this data is inflation adjusted as per base of year 2009-10. We’re not trying to confuse you here. It’s just to ensure that the source is authentic and data is appropriate.
How is rising inflation the main cause?
So, there’s this Hindi saying which fits perfectly to the situation ‘Karela Vo Bhi Neem Chadha’ which means, an already bad situation made worse. So, since we are talking about the serious issue of malnutrition, you won’t be pleased to know that it is accompanied by rising retail inflation and Consumer Price Inflation.
Here's what this means- Already hungry people would have to pay more for food. The only food product that is an exception to this is milk. Milk and milk-related products have held true to their ever-increasing demand even in this tough time (God knows how). While, salt, sugar, oil, spices etc. have taken the hit.
Ultimately Onus is on the State
We know that there are many issues with which our government is occupied but there’s no way out for this. It’s ultimately the responsibility of the government to take care of its citizens and make the economy flourish. So, our own government is no different and hence can’t be spared. Let’s just hope that government soon does something substantial about this, just the way it’s trying to resolve other issues.