BHUBANESWAR: The findings of the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC)-2011 has turned out to be embarrassing for the Odisha Government which had projected the State economy to grow at 8 per cent in 2015-16.
Emerging out of a period of slowdown during 2011-12 to 2013-14, the growth of State’s economy is picking up and the growth rate of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) in 2015-16 is projected at 8 per cent, Finance Minister Pradip Amat had said while presenting the State’s budget for the year.
However, the SECC has punctured the growth story of the State Government. According to the census, out of the 86.22 lakh rural households, main income of 19.89 lakh households (23.07 per cent) comes from agriculture.
Over 50.73 lakh households (58.84 per cent) depend on manual casual labour for livelihood while 2.59 lakh households are engaged in part time/full time domestic service. What has come as an embarrassment is that despite a slew of populist schemes launched by the State Government, 22,353 households still depend on foraging and rag picking to eke out a living. Besides, 54,199 households depend on begging while 10.87 lakh households in rural Odisha resort to other sources for their livelihood.
Besides, 46.6 lakh households in rural Odisha still remain landless. Though 23 per cent depend on agriculture as their main source of income, only 1 per cent owns farm equipment while only 1.6 per cent of these households own irrigation equipment which includes electric pumpset, sprinkler and have access to drip irrigation system.
Only 5.86 lakh households (6.8 per cent) in rural areas have salaried jobs while 3.79 lakh (4.4 per cent) have Government jobs. Over 75.78 per cent of households have income of less than Rs 5,000 per month while another 6.31 lakh households have income between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 per month. Only 4.1 lakh households in rural Odisha have income of more than Rs 10,000 per month.
This dismal scene in rural Odisha prevails even as the State Government spends more than Rs 4,500 crore per year on different welfare measures. The Government spends Rs 1,400 crore per year on rice at Rs 1 per kg scheme.