Does a statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel need to have an allocation of Rs. 200 crores? Isn’t it fundamentally wrong when the construction of the statute is going to submerge forest land and displace tribal people (www.downtoearth.org.in)? The allocation for the hand loom sector is 50 crores, 50 million people depend on this sector.
This is not the first time the government of the day has got its priorities wrong. Allocations that impact the lives of million of people have got step motherly treatment. The non essential displacement of people is an issue on which one would like an answer from the government.
Considering that the mainstream economy with its emphasis on urbanisation and large industries is of little consequence to those dependent on agriculture and agro-based cottage sector, large allocations are not going to bring change in their lives. Allocation of monetary resources and fiscal benefits have not been effective tools in the past.
The tenor of debate in the mainstream media has focused on the priorities of the urban centric, industrial economies with little for the millions who are either displaced or have to uproot themselves from their environment to find viable but elusive opportunities elsewhere.