New Delhi: Access to bare necessities has improved across the country and is highest in Kerala, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat, while it is lowest in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Tripura, the economic blueprint by Finance Ministry’s Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian stated on Friday.
The bare necessities of housing, water, sanitation, electricity, and clean cooking fuel are jointly consumed by all the members of a household. They, therefore, are durable assets.
According to the Economic Survey 2021, compared to 2012, access to the bare necessities has improved across all States in the country in 2018.
“Access to bare necessities is the highest in the states such as Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat while it is the lowest in Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Tripura,” the survey stated.
The improvements are widespread as they span each of the five dimensions viz., access to water, housing, sanitation, micro-environment, and other facilities.
Inter-state disparities in the access to the bare necessities have declined in 2018 when compared to 2012 across rural and urban areas.
“This is because the states where the level of access to the bare necessities was low in 2012 have gained relatively more between 2012 and 2018.”
Access to the bare necessities has improved disproportionately more for the poorest households when compared to the richest households across rural and urban areas.
“The improvement is particularly noteworthy because while the rich can seek private alternatives, lobby for better services, or if need be, move to areas where public goods are better provided for, the poor rarely have such choices,” the blueprint further said.
Improved access to the bare necessities correlates with future improvements in education indicators. The thrust should be given to reduce variation in the access to bare necessities across states, between rural and urban, and between income groups, on bare necessities.