Budget aims to reduce disparity
The Human Development Index (HDI) for a tehsil in Maharashtra will influence the budgetary allocation of the district that tehsil falls in.
The state’s planning department on Tuesday decided to work out the HDI for every tehsil in every district annually starting this year. This index will help decide the district and state budgetary allocation.
The HDI is a comprehensive measure of development that combines indicators such as real purchasing power, education and health. The last such exercise was conducted in 2002 when the state’s first HDI report, brought out by the state’s planning body and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) described Maharashtra as having ‘pockets of affluence midst acute poverty’.
Eight years later, the state found that not much has changed and felt that budgets need to focus on human development parameters.
“Twelve most backward districts were selected in 2006 on the basis of the 2002 report for a mission to increase their HDI,” said planning minister Sunil Tatkare. “The mission has resulted in achievements in health and education sectors, but there continues to be great disparity between various districts.’’
For instance, the per capita incomes of Buldhana, Nanded and Washim are three times lower than that of Mumbai. Naxalite-affected Gadchiroli district, which is on the lowest rung, has a per capita income of only Rs 8,000. Maharashtra ranks fourth in the country with an average HDI of 0.58.
The Maharashtra Human Development Mission got Rs 250 crore to improve 25 talukas in 12 districts between 2006 and 2009. This year, the budget will be Rs 80 to Rs 100 crore and will cover at least one taluka in all 35 districts. “We have proposed that bureaucrats who do not contribute proactively to improving the HDI will find a negative remark in their confidential report,’’ Tatkare said.