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Rural distress is real: Negative monthly growth of real wage rates witnessed in rural areas for 9 consecutive months, starting from November 2017

f real wage rates in the countryside has been declining, which indicates deepening of agrarian crisis and rural distress. A contraction of the rural economy is also happening due to the stagnation in Real Wages. Calculations done by the Inclusive Media for Change team shows that the average daily real wage rates for rural men in agricultural occupations (12 in numbers) grew by -1.76 percent in 2015-16 (viz. year-on-year growth), 1.49 percent in 20

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Jean Dreze, the Belgian-Indian economist, interviewed by Ujjawal Krishnam (National Herald)

h farmers’ suicide rates in well off states like Kerala and Maharashtra and much lower rates in the poorer states. In my view, a more useful indicator of rural distress is the growth rate of Real Wages in the rural or agricultural sector. If agriculture is doing well, and productivity is increasing, you would expect Real Wages to rise. Further, many small farmers are also part-time labourers, an

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Farm suicide as an indicator of agrarian crisis should be used with caution

er two indices give higher weights to food, beverages and tobacco (which is over 70 percent), whereas the latter give lesser weight to them (which is around 57.44 percent altogether). So, for getting Real Wages the nominal wages of rural labourers and agricultural labourers should be deflated by CPI-Rural, and neither CPI-AL nor CPI-RL. There can be many such indicators depending on what aspect of agrarian crisis a journalist or a researcher wants

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Jean Dreze -- development economist -- interviewed by Jipson John and Jitheesh PM (

008 crisis, but that growth had a participatory character, with rapid increases in living standards not just for the privileged but for the vast majority.One indication of this is the rapid growth of Real Wages, in contrast with India where Real Wages are growing at a very sluggish rate despite rapid GDP growth. India, unlike China, has an enormous reserve army of low-productivity labourmillions of people

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The time is ripe for unity -Prabhat Patnaik

her prices for their produce, are seen to go against the interests of workers, who get hurt by such higher prices; their money wages being sticky, higher prices, especially of foodgrains, lower their Real Wages. In Britain in the early 19th century, the workers and the industrial capitalists had come together to demand a repeal of the Corn Laws so that cheaper food could be imported. (There, of course, the peasantry had virtually disappeared by then,

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Why clubbing employment and work in India is misleading -Jayati Ghosh

om the really low rate of 16.6 per cent. Various explanations have been offered for this, from more young women being engaged in education (which is still not enough to explain the decline) to rising Real Wages that have allowed women in poor households to avoid or reduce involvement in very physically arduous and demanding work with relatively low wages. Implicit in this discussion is a notion of a household-level backward bending supply curve, which

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Begging and Criminality -Prabhat Patnaik

ch made petty production unviable and threw out lots of petty producers from their traditional activities) to massive inflation owing to the inflow of precious metals from the Americas (which lowered Real Wages and made the traditional ways of living impossible for many). Seventeenth century England had developed a dual system to cope with such increase in begging. A distinction was drawn between those who were able-bodied and therefore could work

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Amarjeet Sinha, Rural development secretary, interviewed by Sayantan Bera and Elizabeth Roche (

is there a case for moving towards consumer price index for rural areas, where the weightage on food items is a little lower. These are issues that are under consideration at a time when increases in Real Wages have slowed. * Are you also using MGNREGS to create rural markets? Under MGNREGS, we have identified rural markets and we are now insisting on no-objection certificates with regard to APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) regulatio

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Solving the mystery of missing employment data in the Indian economy -Himanshu

creation since demonetization and certainly much lower than what is required. Among the indirect data sources, perhaps the most conclusive evidence is from the wage data, which shows a decline in Real Wages since May 2014 when the government took over. Clearly, the evidence on jobs may be less than robust compared to NSSO surveys, but it does show that there is no evidence of job creation having accelerated under this government. And certainly, no

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Rural distress can't get buried in growth story -Himanshu

be in negative territory for the fourth month in a row. The wage data is now available up to February 2018 and it shows that real non-agricultural wages have been declining since November 2017. While Real Wages of agricultural labourers have moved out of negative territory after declining for two consecutive months, the growth at 0.2% is negligible. It is not just the overall story; the trends, too, present a contradiction. More »

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