India under Modi government has witnessed countrywide improvement in availability and accessibility of bare necessities like housing, drinking water, clean cooking fuel, sanitation, hygiene etc., says Economic Survey.
The survey bases its assumptions on a Bare Necessities Index (BNI), a composite index developed for this purpose. It proposes the development of a BNI based on large annual household survey data using suitable indicators and methodology at district level for all or at least target districts to assess the progress on access to bare necessities in recent years.
According to BNI, access to "the bare necessities" has improved across all States in the country between 2012 and 2018. "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 compared to 2012 across rural and urban areas," the survey says.
It was also found that the improved access to "the bare necessities" has led to improvements in health indicators and in education indicators.
The survey however, points out that while improvements in access to bare necessities are evident, the disparities in access to bare necessities continues to exist between rural-urban, among income groups and also across States. "Government schemes, such as the Jal Jeevan Mission, SBM-G, PMAY-G, may design appropriate strategy to address these gaps to enable India achieve the SDG goals of reducing poverty, improving access to drinking water, sanitation and housing by 2030," it says.
The survey calls for effective targeting of poor population be they in urban or rural areas or across states. As civic amenities in urban areas are also provided by local self-governments, it wants effective convergence in scheme implementation at the Centre-State and local levels.