Social Scientist. v 12, no. 132 (May 1984) p. 43.

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Rural Development in Haryana: A Study of Growing Inter-Sectoral and Infra-Sectoral Disparity

THIS PAPER attempts to analyse the impact of rural development on imer-sectoraland intra-scctoral disparity in Haryana. Section I provides a general background of Haryana economy. Section II deals with the main elements of the strategy adopted for rural reconstruction, viz, removal of rural poverty, and Section III attempts to assess its impact on rural masses, keeping in mind the movement of prices during this period. The period covered is from 1966,. when Haryana came into being, to 1980. Although most of the required data have been available, yet some gaps have persisted thereby limiting the comprehensiveness of our study.

General Background

Haryana economy is basically agrarian in nature. According to the provisional results of 1981 census^ about 78 per cent of the population is living in rural areas. The agricultural sector1 contributed about 51.49 per cent share in the state domestic product in 1979-80. But this agrarian structure is marked by great inequalities. Land, which is the main asset in rural areas, is concentrated in a few hands. Half of total holdings is below two hectares and accounts for only 10 per cent of total agricultural land, whereas the top one per cent holdings, i e, above 20 hectares, accounts for more than 10 per cent of the total cultivated area. The new agricultural technology has further widened the gap between the small and large farmers.2 This inequality is aggravated by the skewness in the distribution of assets in rural areas.3

The distribution of land under land reforms has added to the rank of small and marginal farmers. But these 'new farmers' are generally unable to cultivate that land by themselves. According to one estimate, small and marginal farmers form 60 per cent of non-cultivating owners in Haryana.4 The small and marginal farmers are living in pitiable conditions. About 75 per cent of these poor peasants own no animals and 52.6 per cent do not own even a plough. A majority pf

•Lecturer in Economics, University College, 'Rohtak.

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