[Answered] Analyze the role of policy-making in addressing socio-economic disparities in India. With reference to a recent government initiative, evaluate its effectiveness in promoting inclusive growth.

Introduction: Give a brief context to the question

Body: Highlight the role of policy-making in addressing disparities in India & evaluate its effectiveness

Conclusion: Way forward

To reduce inequality and promote inclusive growth, policy-making is essential in tackling socioeconomic gaps in India. It does this by developing strategies and putting these measures into action. The eagerly awaited fact sheet of the Household Consumption Expenditure Survey (HCES) 2022-23 was released recently by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Role of policy-making in addressing socio-economic disparities

  • Redistribution: Progressive taxation, social safety nets, and targeted subsidies can transfer resources from the wealthy to the poor, reducing the gap.
  • Equality of Opportunity: Investments in quality education, healthcare, and skilling programs create a level playing field, allowing individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to compete effectively.
  • Empowerment: Policies promoting women’s rights, affirmative action for marginalized groups, and decentralization can empower historically excluded sections of society.

Effectiveness of HCES 2022-2023 in promoting inclusive growth

  • Information on household data: HCES captures household spending patterns in India, including demographic details, to construct CPI weighting diagrams for tracking retail inflation. It determines the relative significance of goods and services based on their shares in household consumption.
  • Capturing diverse consumption trends: HCES tries to accurately capture the diverse consumption patterns of households. The robust sampling design, coupled with the incorporation of new items and innovative survey techniques, reflects a dedication to staying attuned to the dynamics of a rapidly changing official statistics domain.
  • Urban-Rural Gap: HCES provides valuable insight into income levels both at rural and urban levels. There is a noticeable decline in the percentage share of expenditure on food items (especially cereals), accompanied by an increase in the share of spending on fresh fruits and processed foods. There is a surge in non-food expenditures’ share, particularly on durable goods, indicating an improved standard of living and a growing preference for lifestyle enhancements.

Conclusion

The Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 is a testament to India’s commitment to a resilient statistical system embracing both tradition and innovation & collective endeavor of the Indian Statistical Service officers, the Subordinate Statistical Service officers, and the entire staff, that stands as a beacon of reliability, a valuable tool for shaping the trajectory of New India’s economic policies.

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