If Economic Surveys are any indication then West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has a reason to be concerned about the bandwagon engaged in fueling a sense of insecurity under her dispensation. Whether it is a propaganda being orchestrated to create a guise to hide her administrative achievements or just to oust her party over certain political vengeance is not known.
Bengal is ahead of several states in the areas of employment, agriculture, women’s empowerment, school education and rural roads, according to the latest Economic Survey (for FY 2018-19).
The rate of total unemployment in the state is 4.6 per cent, and the rate of rural employment is only 3.8 per cent and of urban unemployment is 6.4 per cent.
In production of paddy, the state is already number one in the country, having produced 15 crore tonne.
In the production of jute, Bengal is on the top again, and has increased production by 16 per cent over the previous financial year. Another area of achievement, for which Bengal has been described in glowing terms, is empowerment of women, especially in rural areas.
Through various women-centric schemes and through financial strengthening of the MSME sector, the State Government has enabled economic gains for women, which has resulted in their increased role in household decision-making.
In population reduction too, the state has found pride of place in the report, since being on course to having a population growth rate from 2011 to 2021 (when the next census would be held) of just 0.74 per cent. Anything less than 1 per cent is very good.
For the period of 2021 to 2031, the number is predicted to fall to 0.50 per cent and for the period of 2031 to 2041, to 0.14 per cent. This is another strong point for Bengal, as mentioned in the Economic Survey.
In school education, the state’s gross enrollment ratio, ratio of students to teachers in both schools as a whole and in classrooms, and dropout rate are among the best in the country. In construction of rural roads too, Bengal is among the top states.
With so many silver lines drawn by the Mamata-led government those relates to the welfare of people, the cacophony being created to brand her style of functioning as dystopic, it needs a closer scrutiny.
( with UNI inputs)