ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Richa SinghSubscribe to Richa Singh

Rural Wages during the 1990s: A Re-estimation

A major premise of economic reforms was the stimulus it was expected to give to the agriculture sector and to the demand for labour in rural areas. However, recent studies have given conflicting results regarding the trend in wages. In this paper, we re-estimate rural wage rates from the three NSS rounds for 1983, 1993-94 and 1999-2000 for 15 major states. Our results show that the growth rate of manual casual agricultural wages declined during the post-reform period with some differences at the state level. In the case of manual casual non-agricultural wages there was no decline in the growth rates at the all-India level. In the case of wages for all casual (manual and non-manual) wage labour, a decline was registered by both agricultural and non-agricultural wages in the 1990s. Analysis of the determinants of agricultural wages revealed that agricultural productivity, rural diversification, investment per hectare in agriculture, and percentage of agricultural labourers in the workforce were the key factors, with the impact of the latter two being lower in 1999-2000 compared to the earlier periods.

Equity in Fertiliser Subsidy Distribution

This paper examines the issue of inter-crop, inter-regional and inter-class equity in fertiliser subsidy distribution in terms of shares of different farm classes, crops and states in total fertiliser use as well as per hectare fertiliser use on different size categories of farms. The paper shows that paddy and wheat cultivators are the major beneficiaries of fertiliser subsidy. Interstate disparity in fertiliser consumption still remains high, though it has been falling over the years. More significant is the finding that there prevails a fair degree of inter-class equity in distribution of fertiliser subsidy, contrary to the widely prevalent impression. A uniform approach to reduction of all types of subsidies is not justified. Instead a well thought out, properly sequenced, gradualist and regionally differentiated approach to subsidy reduction needs to be adopted.

Masculine Identity, Workers and HIV/AIDS

Marginalised groups, living in economically unstable/ disadvantageous social settings have been particularly vulnerable to HIV/AID infection. This study of one such vulnerable group, workers in Wazirpur Industrial Area (WPIA), New Delhi, highlights the socio-economic context of HIV transmission among the unorganised workforce. Arguing that social identities are important determines of sexual behaviour, the study examines the ways in which workers construct their social identity within their given working and living conditions of WPIA.
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