Rural Economy minus Agriculture

February 14, 2007

Niranjan Rajadhyaksha writes in ‘The Rising of India ‘ as,

“Some changes are already evident in the rural economy. It can no longer be blindly equated with the agricultural economy. Economist Omkar Goswami and marketing consultant Rama Bijapurkar have constructed a detailed representation of rural India based on economic, demographic and consumption data from 530 districts in the country. They say that rural India accounts for 52% of India’s GDP. They break this into the three basic components: agriculture accounts for 46%, industry for 21%, and services for 33% of the rural economy. So a moribund agricultural sector does not necessarily mean a dead-end rural economy. In a newspaper article, Goswami and Bijapurkar give one indication: the 1991 census showed that only 30% of rural households lived in permanent houses. Ten years later, the next census shows that 41% of rural households have decent housing. This fact does not quite fit in with the politically attractive view that the whole of rural India is suffering because of problems on the farm.”

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