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Editorial Board A Refereed Monthly International Journal of Management
Prof. B. P. Sharma
(Editor in Chief)
Prof. Mahima Birla
(Additional Editor in Chief)
Dr. Khushbu Agarwal
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Ms. Asha Galundia
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 Editorial Team

Dr. Devendra Shrimali
Dr. Dharmesh Motwani
 

SOCIAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT IN PUNJAB

Dr. Vikram Chadha[1]

ABSTRACT

The development economists and policy makers are unanimous in their view that the development of social sector is most crucial for accelerated economic development with adequate emphasis on social justice. However, only increase in social sector expenditure will not be adequate. Policy makers should also focus on efficient allocation of resources to target the actual deprived sections of population, so that gains of increased expenditure can stream down to the lower mass of population. The thrust of development programmes aim to reach the needy sects of our society which require the utmost attention. The planners are conscious of the reality that unless the fruits of economic growth percolate down to the lowest runs of the society, real development and welfare is meaningless. The main concern is to improve national and individual welfare through multiple pathways including more productivity, more earning, improving health, enriching lives through empowerment and gives the better opportunities i.e. creating greater equity through opportunity. This paper observed the impact of various social sector development programmes on Punjab economy during the period of 2007 to 2016. The results evidently clarify that there is significant reduction in poverty in Punjab due to expenditure incurred on social services accompanied by the inclusive growth. Any improvement in these may bring about little growth but it is a vital component of development.

 

Keywords: Social Sector, Punjab, Economic Development.

 

[1] Professor, Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab. Email:vikramchad@yahoo.com

[2]Research Scholar, Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab. Email:ishuchadda@gmail.com

 

SOCIAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT IN PUNJAB

SECTION I

INTRODUCTION

Indian Economy, at the time of Independence, was characterized as rural and agricultural wherein majority of the people earned their livelihood with dependence on customary and low productive techniques for agriculture and related pursuits. The state failed to be self sufficient in food and raw materials for industry in spite of the massive population engaged in agriculture. Thus, the independent India inherited a stagnant economy, plagued with problems of little industrialization, low agricultural output, low figure of national income per capita, considerable unemployment and under employment. Later, post independence, Indian economy passed through other major crisis along with its inheritance of the said plagued economic state and was caught up in a vicious circle of poverty. India was, thus, in dire need of a rapid growth and social justice to the poor masses (Kapila, 2010). The chief objective of economy policy was to forge a socialistic pattern of society through which an economic growth with self reliance, social justice and alleviation of poverty could be attained (Parikh, 2002).

Social Sector development has been accepted as a strong and fundamental component of economic development. Lack of livelihood opportunities, modern amenities and services for decent living in rural areas led to migration of people to urban areas and consequently develop Social Sector of India in order to achieve real development (Maheswari, 2012). Central Government expenditure on the social sector is one-fifth of total social expenditure in India and that of 80 percent of the expenditure is incurred by the states. The distribution of responsibilities between the centre and the states is laid down by the constitution. Health and most rural development issues are responsibility of the states while education, welfare and employment issues come under the concurrent list i.e. both the centre and the states are responsible (Mooij and Dev, 2004). Punjab is the second largest producer of wheat in the country. With 13.58 percent of the country’s wheat area its contribution is 21.78 percent recoding the highest per hectare yield in India. This is because of assured irrigation, higher agricultural inputs and adoption of new farm technology. The fertile plains of Punjab boast of producing about two-third of the food grains produced annually in India. All this is possible due to Badal’s fight against SYL which wanted to rip Punjab from its waters leaving the state poor and vulnerable (Anonymous, 2016). In this light, the objective of the study is:

To examine the status and growth of social welfare scheme for inclusive growth in Punjab since the year 2007 with special reference to various social security schemes launched in Punjab.

DATABASE, SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY

                  Data for the present study have been taken from various reports of planning commission, economic surveys, annual budgets, newspapers and journals. The study covers the period from 2007-08 to 2015-16. In order to study the pattern, compound growth rates have been used. For doing so, we estimate the exponential relation:

SECTION II

SOCIAL SECTOR SCENARIO IN PUNJAB

Social Sector Scenario in Punjab: Punjab has experienced many upheavals and chaos, which, in turn, have influenced its path of development. Punjab’s population has increased five times in the last 60 years and in which majority of population is under the age of thirty. The thrust of development programmes aim to reach the needy sects of our society which require the utmost attention. High priority is being accorded to education, health and nutrition and livelihood. The main concern, however, is to improve national and individual welfare through multiple pathways including more productivity, more earning, improving health, enriching lives through empowerment and gives the better opportunities i.e. creating greater equity through opportunity (Government of India, 2012). The expenditure on social and community sector has increased from 12.2 percent to 28.62 percent over the period of the Fourth Five Year Plan to Eleventh Five Year Plan.

 

Fourth Plan

Fifth Plan

Sixth Plan

Seventh Plan

Eighth Plan

Ninth Plan

Tenth Plan

Eleventh Plan

Twelfth Plan (P)

Expenditure on Social and Community Services (In Percent)

12.23

20.38

16.24

13.44

22.83

28.42

22.35

28.62

35.12

Source: Government of Punjab (Various Issues), “Statistical Abstracts of Punjab”, Chandigarh: Economic Advisor to Punjab.

 

Social Development Schemes launched by State Government:

  1. Shagun Scheme (1997): This scheme is initiated in order to improve education and health of girl child and bring a positive change towards the birth of girl child. The Girl child should belong to Scheduled castes and born within BPL families. A Shagun of Rs. 51000/ would be given to the families at the time of the marriage.
  2. Balri Rakshak Yojana (2005): The family who has two girl children and no male child and non income tax payee can avail the monthly benefit of Rs. 500 for one girl and Rs. 700 for two girl children.
  3. Bebe Nanki Laadli Beti Kalyan Scheme (2011): The scheme is for those girls who born after 1st January, 2011 with the annual family income is less than Rs. 30000 This scheme was initiated to prevent female foeticide and to provide better education to the girls. The total sum would be provided to the beneficiary under this scheme is of Rs. 61000 at the age of 18 years and if the girl child drops from the school due to any reason then no benefit will be given.
  4. Kanya Jagriti Jyoti Scheme: The financial assistance is provided to the girl child who belonged to BPL families. Government of Punjab deposits Rs. 5000 at the time of birth of girl child with LIC. Rs. 1200 per annum and Rs. 400 per annum would be provided as scholarship and the lump sum amount would be given at the age of 18 or 21 years as decided by the family. The amount is finalized by LIC.
  5. Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme (2013): The Government of Punjab has made provision for providing free cycles to the girl’s students from the standard of 9th to 12th to promote education and to reduce school dropout rate.
  6. Scheme for providing education to orphan girls (1968): The Girl child whose father had died or 100 percent disabled and for the widows whose age is not more than 30 years having family income of Rs. 50000 annually would be provided assistance of Rs. 1 lakh or the course fee whichever is less for seeking admission under competitive courses.
  7. Financial assistance to dependent children (1968): The purpose of this scheme is to provide financial assistance to the children below the age of 21 years through their parents or guardians. The applicant’s monthly income should not be more than Rs. 1000 in case of individual and Rs. 1500 in couple case. The beneficiary would get the amount of Rs. 250 per month.
  8. Financial assistance to the Widows and Destitute Women (1999): Women below the age of 60 years who have no means of subsistence or have been deprived of her husband’s support due to continued absence of home or chronic disease or any other reason or the unmarried women above the age of 30 years living the life of destitution is eligible to get the benefit of Rs. 250 per month provided that the monthly income of applicant is less than Rs. 1000.
  9. Home for Widows and Destitute Women and Training cum Production Centre (1968): This home was established in Jalandhar in the year 1968 for the Widows and destitute women who have no means of subsistence and are in need of dire protection are admitted along with their minor children. They are given cash allowance of Rs. 250 and Rs. 50 for clothing allowance per beneficiary per month. Training provided to the needy for tailoring, embroidery, leather/ plastic goods, soft toys making and manufacturing.
  10. Janashree Bima Yojana (2000): This scheme provides life insurance protection to below and marginally above poverty line rural and urban people aged between 18 to 59 years. The members have to pay premium of Rs. 200 per head and 50 percent premium would be paid by State Government for the coverage amount of Rs. 30000.
  11. Mahila Jagriti Yojana (1999): The objective of the scheme is to increase the access of women to the resources via Self Help Groups and help the women to supplement family income through economic generating activities
  12. Mai Bhago Istri Shakti Scheme (2009): The main aim of this scheme is to help women in establishing the micro and small business in rural areas. Under the scheme, the individual or group of women would be provided loans at 8-10 percent interest per annum by agricultural societies to engage them in various kinds of economic activities in order to improve their families financial position and also give them self respect and confidence.
  13. Kishori Shakti Yojana: This scheme provides benefits to the girls who come under the age group of 11 to 18 years by engaging them in Non formal education system to improve the literacy level and numeracy skills, vocational and home based skills and promoting awareness of health, hygine, nutrition, famity welfare and child care.
  14. Concessional Bus travel facility to Women (1997): This scheme was launched to infuse confidence and a sense of security among aged women. All women above the age of 60 years residing in Punjab State will get identity cards and get 50% fare concession is granted to card holders traveling in the Punjab.
  15. Swasth Kanya Yojana (2016): Under this scheme, free schoolbags containing stationery items will be provided to the gorl students in government schools from classes I to XII. This scheme also provides Kanya Health Care kits to the girls studying in class VI to XII on monthly basis.
  16. HarGobind Khurana Scholarship Scheme (2013): This scheme launched for the poor meritorious students who secured 80 percent and more marks would get Rs. 30000 per annum for availing higher education.
  17. Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Beema Yojna (BPSSBY) (2013): The State Government provides smart cards to the beneficiaries of Atta Dal Scheme, who will be able to make their treatment in different hospitals without any charge. It provide the coverage for meeting up with expenses for medical and or surgical procedures including maternity benefit to the enrolled families for hospitalization up to Rs. 30000 per family per year either individually or collectively by all members of the family.
  18. Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund (MMPHCRF) (2016): The State Government had launched a special fund of Rs. 20 crore to provide free treatment for patients affected by Hepatitis C.
  19. CM Cancer Relief Fund (MMPCRKS): This scheme will provide the cashless treatment to the cancer patients in 16 hospitals in the state empanelled under the state.
  20. Healthcare Diagnostic Services: This sole aim is of scheme is to providing door to door health check up of the residents of State who have health cards and to prevent the disease at the early stage.  
  21. Bhai Ghaniya Insurance Scheme (2012): This scheme aims to provide viable means of improving access to quality health services to the members and employees for rural community at affordable cost. It provide coverage for meeting the medical expenses of indoor hospitalization for a period of more than 24 hours and other treatments of the members up to an expenditure of Rs. 2 lakh per person per year on family floater basis in any of the listed hospitals.
  22. Old Age Pension Scheme: Under this scheme, Rural women who are 60 years old or above and rural men who are 65 years old or above having monthly income of Rs. 1000 individually and Rs. 1500 if both husband wife alive would get the monthly pension of Rs. 250 each.
  23. Construction of Toilets in Rural Areas (2014): The Government launched the scheme for constructing toilets in every rural house.
  24. Atta Dal Scheme (2007): this scheme provides Atta and Dals at the subsided rate i.e. floor at the rate of Rs. 2 per kg and pulses at the rate of Rs. 20 per kg to BPL holders both in the State.

 

SECTION III

SOCIAL SERVICES: OUTLAYS AND ACTUAL EXPENDITURE

Table 1 explains the overall outlays and actual expenditure incurred for Social sector development in Punjab from the year 2007-08 to the year 2015-16. The highest amount allotted to Education, Art & Culture followed by Social Security and Women & Child Care, then on Medical and Public Welfare and Welfare of Minority sections. While Water Supply and Sanitation and Labour welfare and employment get the least share out of total allocations. However, the highest expenditure incurred on Social security and Women & Child Care followed by Education, Art & Culture, Water Supply and Sanitation and Welfare of Minorities Sections. Bains (2016) stated that during these nine years Punjab Government had successfully implemented multi pronged strategy to consolidate its fiscal condition by raising revenue through collection of taxes and curbing debt in order to bring financial prudency in the system. The state’s own tax revenues had increased from Rs. 36808 crore to Rs. 1.68 lakh crore during this period. In addition to these, the Government had also taken numerous steps for provisioning of basic amenities to all, infrastructure, power generation and implementation of administrative reforms in civil, police and industrial sector. Punjab is the only state providing free power supply to farmers about Rs. 4700 crore every year in lieu of subsidy to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL). Despite increased allocation during the last decade, both State and Centre expenditure had not attained the decided growth. Little attention had been paid to the utilization of the allocated funds. The phenomenon of under utilization in the different sectors and scheme had been reflected in the budget allocations, releases and utilization of funds in the different sectors and schemes. The funds allocated for different programme components and sub components were underutilized and unnoticed because of the lack of an adequate financial management information system (Shariff, Ghosh and Mondal, 2002)


Table 2 explained that the Shiromani Akali Dal Government initiated various scholarship schemes which include schemes for students as well as for institutions. Schemes like Post metric scholarship scheme for Minorities sections, Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship, Dr. HarGobind Scholarship scheme for merit holders, Financial Support to disabled person and dependent child were launched to provide support to vulnerable sections. The State Government disbursed Rs. 200 crore among 3.14 lakhs students during the period of 2007-2015. A positive contribution to the social good is made by the Government, which has helped in transforming Punjab from ignorance to knowledge. Besides sprucing up infrastructure in schools, empowering the girls is the biggest challenge for the Government.

Shagun scheme played the important role for helping the under privileged families during the time of girls marriage. Rs. 41.44 crore had been transferred within the accounts of 58362 beneficiaries in the year 2015. The number of beneficiaries had been showing the increasing trend for the schemes like Attendance scholarship to girls, Financial Assistance to Widows and Destitute Women and Financial support to dependent child and for disabled person. Women Development Department was established on April 4, 2012 under Punjab Women Empowerment Package 2012 (PWEP) to transform the socio economic status of women by expanding opportunities available to them (The Hindu, 2016). 

Government had provided free water connections and toilets in rural areas. There had been expenditure of around Rs. 3000 crore to repair old roads and a total investment of about Rs. 32000 crore for building new roads (approximately 28000 kms.) in nine years. A lot of focus had been laid on preserving the Sikh Cultural Heritage. Upgrading health infrastructure, better delivery services and affordable treatment achieved success by reaching out to 28 lakh blue card holders during these nine years. Atta Dal Scheme was implemented by the Badal Government in 2007 which covered 15.4 lakh families providing each with Rs. 4 per kg wheat and Rs. 20 per kg dal by subsiding wheat to Re 1 per kg. The scheme entailing an annual expense of Rs. 400 crore had been flawed by complaints of erratic supply of pulses, undeserving beneficiaries and low quality wheat (Hindustan Times, 2016).

Source: Government of Punjab (various issues), “Annual Budgets”, Punjab: Department of Planning.

Note: * indicate that schemes shifted to non plan.

           -indicate that schemes were not started.

           # indicates that discontinuance of schemes.

           NA means Not Available

There has been opening of 13 Universities and 30 colleges in this duration. 297 skill development centres, 750 free Health check up Centres and 1933 free Medical Centres have been opened. Advance Cancer Research and Treatment Centre, Bathinda has been opened. New Tube wells connection, Free Health Bema services, Concessional Loan and Free power supply provided to Farmers. Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme was introduced with an objective of ensuring there are no drop outs of girls in Punjab Schools. Rs. 42 crore spent on this scheme; proved to be successful as in first year, the total of 111049 bicycles were distributed rose in second year to 152330 bicycles (Anonymous, 2016). However, Punjab Government failed to this promise because the number was dropped to 61000 bicycles in the year 2014 and Director General School Education (DGSE) said that they had not received any instructions to distribute bicycles the girls so far and the number further dropped to 8770 in the year 2015 (India Today, 2015).

Under Sangat Darshan Programmes, The CM meets the people to redress their grievances. A proper format is followed to solve the problems of needy. The complaints are filed by the applicant online which further solved by the Government. During Sangat Darshan, Mr. Badal said that 164 Fard kendras, 132 Suvidha Kendras and 500 Saanjh Kendras were opened and alreasy providing services to the public. Besides this, 2174 Sewa Kendras were being set up costing Rs. 2000 crore for delivery of Government to Citizen (G2C) and Business to Citizen (B2C) services in rural as well as urban areas at a cost of Rs. 450 crore.

 

SECTION IV

POLICY IMPLICATIONS

                 In the light of above discussion, following policy implications can be given for the social sector development in India which definitely eliminate poverty.

  1. Policy makers should adopt the broader perspective towards labour and employment which ensure not only equity but also sustained growth in the long run in Punjab. The linkage between various components of promotional and protective social security with economic growth must be indentified which further lead to eradication of poverty. Poverty alleviation programmes could lead to increase in incomes which could have additional spin-offs in the form of higher nutrition, better health and productivity (Prabhu, 2005).
  2. Policy makers should also focus on efficient allocation of resources to target the actual deprived sections of population, so that gains of increased expenditure can stream down to the lower mass of population.
  3. There is a long chain of middlemen between the government and the poor, for every rupee spend on the poor by the government, the amount that reaches to the poor is a very minute amount. Only with the proper implementation of the schemes and policies of the government, economic and social mobility of all the sections of the society can be improved.

 

CONCLUSION

An Economic and social change has to be adopted simultaneously as parallel parameters for promoting development of such an economy. A steady progress, thereby, ensures two wider objectives i.e. full employment and the removal of economic inequalities and rechanneling the economic activity at the same time. Economic growth though important cannot be an end in itself. Higher standards of living as well as of development opportunities for all, stemming from the greater resources generated by economic growth, are the ultimate aim of development policy. This implies the need to bridge regional, social and economic disparities, as well as the empowerment of the poor and marginalized, especially women, to make the entire development process more inclusive Punjab has always been on top list for offering a huge number of opportunities to ladies, children and to the weaker sections. Various schemes were launched had been successfully implemented and well achieved also to empower these sections within the state for uplifting their education, economic and social status. Most of the government policies are directed towards bringing weaker section to main stream primarily through trickle down approach but it is not only the formulation of programmes and policies, rather the crux lies in its proper implementation. The results clearly show that there is significant reduction in poverty due to social sector expenditure in Punjab. Therefore, the expenditure on these social services should continue in the planning process of Punjab. In order to remove poverty and for equal distribution of income among the masses, it is necessary for the government to provide more and more employment opportunities to the poor. Further, inclusive growth has been the main strategy of development, yet, exclusion continued in terms of low agriculture growth, low quality employment growth, low human development, rural-urban divides, gender and social inequalities, and regional disparities etc.

 

REFRENCES

  • Anonymous (2016), “It’s time for up-gradation of schools”, The growth story of Punjab: Progressive Punjab.
  • Bains, S. (2016), “Historic achievements made by Punjab government during 9 years”, Punjab News Express.
  • Kapila, U. (2010), “Indian Economy since Independence”, Academic Foundation, New Delhi.
  • Government of India (2012), “Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) (2011)”, New Delhi: Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • Government of Punjab (Various Issues), “Statistical Abstracts of Punjab”, Chandigarh: Economic Advisor to Punjab.
  • India Today (2015), “Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme: Punjab Government failed to keep the promise” dated Oct 15, 2015.
  • Maheshwari, T. (2012), “Social Sector Scenario of India after the Economic Reforms”, Socio-Economic Voices: August-September, 2012.
  • Mooij, J. and Dev, S. M. (2004), “Social Sector Priorities: An Analysis of Budgets and Expenditure in India in the 1990s”, Development Policy Review, 2004, 22 (1): 97-120.
  • Parikh, S. K. (2002), “Indian Economy Briefing-A Transformative Fifty years”, Akhtar Publications, New Delhi, pp. 39-90.
  • Shariff, A. Ghosh, K.P. and Mondal, K. S. (2002), “Indian Public Expenditures on Social sector and Poverty Alleviation Programmes during the 1990s”, Working Paper 169, National Council of Applied Economic Research, Human Development Division, London.
  • The Hindu (2016), “Empowering Women in Punjab”, dated 27 December, 2016
  • The Hindustan Times (2016), “9 year report card: Punjab not quite on cloud nine”, dated 17 Mar, 2016.
  • The Tribune (2015), “Savior Sikh-Parkash Singh Badal’s achievements in developing Punjab”, dated Feb 25, 2015.

 

 
 

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