The World Bank has offered to engage itself in the development endeavour of Jharkhand.
A recent World Bank report ‘Jharkhand Addressing the Challenges of Inclusive Development,’ highlighted that the state has huge mineral and forest wealth and has every ingredient to achieve success. World Bank had undertaken the one-year study at the behest of the state government.
A team of 20 World Bank staff, led by economists Binayak Sen and Rajni Khanna, prepared the 120-page report on the challenges of complete development in Jharkhand.
The report suggested several short to medium term measures to improve the investment climate; the focus would be infrastructural improvement in the mining sector that would help the state bring in the necessary investment from the private sector.
Although the report had some words of praise for the decline in poverty by an impressive two per cent a year between 1994 and 2002, it warned for an urgent need for reforms so that the incidence of poverty in the state which is the highest in the country is brought down. It explained that expansion of rural opportunities like accessibility to favourable market could help the poor in villages. For example, access to rural infrastructure such as irrigation, power, roads, health, credit and attainment of secondary and post-secondary education could change the rural life, which would change the rural scenario in the state, brining needed development and progress.
Development cannot be possible if political commitment at the highest level is lacking. Consensus between officials and workers and an effective monitoring mechanism on spending and utilization of funds had to be put in place. It cautions against frequent transfers of officials and secretary’s which only harms the development process.
Panchyayti Raj institution will have to form the backbone of development that means that development has to start in consultation with the grassroot level.
Civil society groups and NGOs would play their necessary part in arousing the society from slumber towards development. For example, the sharp regional divides in the society, which is particularly tribal have to be bridged with the assistance from the state Government that has the responsibility to ensure the inclusion of tribal groups in the development process.
The report cautions that the state faces firm challenges to overcome odds before growth and suggested to follow the middle path that involves a balance between agriculture and mineral based industries.
Naxalite insurgence is a major problem for which the Government needs to tread cautiously.
Moreover, corruption has to be nipped in the bud if the state has to step towards development. It has to ensure the proper working of the PDS in the state, where the number of corrupt officials fleecing money from the people to supply them what is their right, is the highest.
The World Bank has offered to focus on Jharkhand to see it through the development phase.
Via: The Telegraph