Economic Survey 2018-19 Focuses On Resource Efficiency For SDG 2030; Namami Gange Key To Sustainable Water Management

Economic Survey 2018-19 Focuses On Resource Efficiency For SDG 2030; Namami Gange Key To Sustainable Water ManagementFarmers working in fields (Bharat Bhushan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Economic Survey of India 2018-19 report released today (4 July) has outlined the progress that the country has been making in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030; several states including Meghalaya, Mizoram and Telangana, among others, have achieved the SDG 10 targets for inequality.

The Namami Gange Mission is seen to play a critical role in ensuring that SDG 6 dealing with sustainable water management is met; out of the 150 planned Sewerage projects needed to be completed by 2035, 43 have been finished as of May 2019.

However, when it comes to tackling resource wastage through recycling, India still lags behind on the global stage; total material demand is expected to double by 2030 so the country will need to have a harmonised policy at the national level to encourage resource efficiency. Currently, a majority of waste reuse is being managed by the organised sector.

The report has also found that women are playing an increasingly significant role in the Agriculture sector, especially among small and marginal farmers. Operational land holdings cultivated by women have increased to 13.9 per cent. A major problem in the sector, dominated by small and marginal farmers, is the lack of better water management.

Improving Irrigation Water Productivity (IWP) in Agriculture will require encouraging farmers to adopt micro-irrigation systems. This can be done in various ways, including by way of subsidising their purchase. Even as Agriculture has declined as a share of Gross Value Added to only 14.4 per cent, resource efficiency in the sector is crucial to meet the country’s need for food self-sufficiency.

Next, the report notes that the growth of India’s exports has declined in 2018-19, largely due to weak global demand. The Indian Rupee has seen some weakness recently due to a more adverse Current Account Deficit, large on the back of higher crude prices, but the situation is likely to improve in light of a de-escalation in trade tensions between the US and China and the resultant boost in global demand.