The government has launched a composite index called the ‘Bare Necessities Index’ to measure the quality of housing, toilet, drinking water and clean cooking fuel as part of the economy survey presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday ahead of the Budget on February 1. The Bare Necessities Index will measure the progress in delivery of “the bare necessities.”
The BNI index will measure access to “the bare necessities” for households in rural areas, urban areas and at an all-India level. These necessities are measured using 26 comparable indicators on five dimensions viz., water, sanitation, housing, micro-environment, and other facilities. The indicators will capture the availability and quality of housing, access to bathroom, kitchen, toilet, drinking water, waste discharge facilities, clean cooking fuel and disease free environment, among other things.
Meanwhile, the economic policy projected that the economy is likely to grow by a robust 11 per cent in fiscal 2021-22 on the back of the roll-out of a massive vaccination drive.
Faced with unprecedented uncertainty at the onset of the pandemic, India focused on saving lives and livelihoods by its willingness to take short-term pain for long-term gain, the Survey pointed out. India’s response stemmed from the humane principle that while GDP growth will recover from the temporary shock caused by an intense lockdown, human lives that are lost cannot be brought back.
India has been able to effectively manage both the spread of COVID-19 and the fatalities, the Survey emphasized.