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

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Faith-based Financial Exclusion in India

One of the key determinants of access to financial services is branch density as loan-making depends on information that necessitates local presence. This paper hypothesises that the proportion of Muslim population has an inverse relationship with branch density in India. The hypothesis is tested using data on commercial bank branches from the Reserve Bank of India and census data. The ordinary least squares estimation shows the expected negative sign for the coefficient of Muslims and the positive sign for the level of urbanisation, both being statistically significant. Commercial bank loan rates are related to the proximity to branch offices, wherein lower branch density not only affects the Muslims (who voluntarily do not participate) but also the general population with serious implications for financial deepening and welfare.

Faith-based Financial Exclusion

The United Kingdom was at the forefront of opening Islamic windows in its financial system with the objective of achieving financial inclusion of Muslims without compromising their value systems. India refused to think in that direction with its large Muslim population being excluded from financial deepening, which is a crucial pillar of poverty reduction. The consequent lower business potential of districts with a higher proportion of Muslim population has led to lower branch density and loan rates, affecting the general population as well. Jammu and Kashmir, in districts where the proportion of Muslims is higher, also reflects these trends observed in other states.


Budget 2021–22 on Health

The budget speech on 1 February 2021 announced an allocation of over `2.2 lakh crore to health and well-being, at 137% higher compared to BE 2020–21. The Fifteenth Finance Commission emphasised the need for strengthening the COVID-19-ravaged health sector by recommending sector-specific grants. The government did not accept the recommendation and, if we discount the health component in the local government grants, the budget allocation for the sector has increased by hardly 10% compared to the 2019–20 actuals.

Review of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana

The enrolment of the poor in the flagship health insurance scheme, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana in its third year of operation does not show any sign of it covering all the poor by 2012. This article estimates the proportion of the eligible below the poverty line families enrolled for the scheme and the fraction of those hospitalised who are covered.

Pursuing Justice and Equity in Health

and Equity in Health Public Health, Ethics, and Equity edited by Sudhir Anand, Fabienne Peter and Amartya Sen; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2006;

A Review of Health and Economics

and Economics Report of the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, 2005.

Scaling Up Social Health Insurance without Analysis?

Scaling Up Social Health Insurance without Analysis?
D NARAYANA The bulk of the two issues of EPW (July being devoted to health insurance is proof

Local Governance without Capacity Building

With the passing of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments in India the structure of governance has changed permanently from a two-tier to a three-tier system with union, state and panchayats/nagar palikas. However, a necessary condition for the transformation of panchayats into local governments is devolution of powers, resources and functions to them and capacity building among the elected representatives. This paper analyses the functioning of the elected representatives at the gram panchayat level in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, elected ward members show poor awareness of powers and responsibilities, but Kerala is different. In Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, panchayats are perceived as agents of state governments, whereas in Kerala they are taken as local governments. In all three states, panchayat presidents understand the legislation better but planning for development is a far cry as little effort seems to have gone into capacity building and devolution of powers and resources. Unless larger powers and resources are devolved and elected representatives are trained, local government will be a dream.

Has Poverty Declined in India in the 1990s?

The issue of poverty reduction in India has been a subject of debate for long. Following the initiation of economic reforms in 1991 the issue has gained added importance in that the question being asked is, has growth trickled down. The answer to the question has depended on the data used, and which data who has used has largely been guided by faith. Believers in National Sample Survey (NSS) hold that poverty has not come down whereas nonbelievers hold that poverty has come down rapidly in the 1990s.

Tenancy in the Context of Irrigation Uncertainty-Role of the Leading Input in Shaping Institutions

The authors' analysis of data collected from village surveys in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu shows that both the incidence and form of tenancy are governed by the irrigation situation and the? changes in it. Irrigation uncertainty leads to a lower incidence of tenancy and the form itself changes in the direction of sharecropping. In understanding the terms of contract in the land market, a unified treatment of the land and labour markets is helpful But its application is limited to the case when the crop cultivated is a subsistence crop. Such unified treatment is not essential for the understanding of land contracts when the crop cultivated is a cash crop.

Financial Sector Reforms-Is There a Strategy for Agricultural Credit

In their zeal to push through financial sector reforms and to turn the sector into a handmaiden of industry and trade, the government and pro- reform academics are ignoring the pivotal role banks have played in promoting private capital formation in agriculture.


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