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

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Rationing Medical Care in Kerala-Price and Non-Price Mechanisms

the poverty line. It is now claimed that the economy has been lifted to a higher growth path, with an average annual growth rate of 5.4 per cent in the Seventh Plan. And yet this higher growth has not alleviated the condition of those below the poverty line. Those below the poverty line are still 28-30 per cent of the population. The benefits of the supposedly higher growth in the Seventh Plan have thus apparently been wholly monopolised by the upper classes. This is a telling commentary on economic policy and management in the Seventh Plan which have been brazenly elitist in their orientation and so have ke*pt the masses of the people out of the ambit of the growth process. The 6 per cent growth rate projected for the Eighth Plan cannot, therefore, give any comfort to the poverty-stricken masses and can bring cheer only to the exploitative upper classes and segments of middle classes which can pick up some crumbs. The poverty alleviation targets, more starkly than other quantitative objectives set in the Approach Paper, show graphically that the planning process has been subverted and turned into planning for the upper classes.

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