Indian states not catching up with richer ones: Economic Survey

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Even as nations globally are improving in terms of income convergence, several Indian states have not been able to catch up with other richer ones and, therefore, lagging behind, revealed the Economic Survey on Tuesday.

“Poorer countries are catching up with richer countries, the poorer Chinese provinces are catching up with the richer ones, but in India, the less developed states are not catching up; instead they are, on average, falling behind the richer states,” said the Economic Survey 2016-17.

According to the Economic Survey, in terms of income convergence, Indian states offer a striking contrast to the catch-up that is happening globally — poorer countries are catching up with the richer ones.

“Since 1980, the long-term trend was reversed and poorer countries started catching up with richer ones. In stark contrast, there continues to be divergence within India or an aggravation of regional inequality,” said the survey.

Convergence means that a state that starts off at low performance levels on an outcome of importance, say the level of income or consumption, should see faster growth on that outcome over time, improving its performance, so that it catches up with the states that had better starting points.

“This was despite the promise that less developed states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh had started improving their relative performance. But the data shows that those developments were neither strong nor durable enough to change the underlying picture of divergence,” said the Economic Survey.