A panel of eminent economists has suggested 77 interventions across different sectors that should be taken up on a priority basis to ensure beneficial outcome in economic, social and environmental spheres in Andhra Pradesh.
The panel said nutrition, education, health and (curbing) domestic violence should be the top priorities for the Andhra Pradesh government to enable the state achieve its goal of becoming India's leading state in social development and economic growth.
Shifting of just one per cent of the state's spending towards these interventions could generate benefits worth Rs 48,000 crore annually, the panel said.
The panel of economists presented their conclusions after India Consensus, a partnership of Tata Trusts and Copenhagen Consensus Centre, conducted a research study across sectors with 24 teams of Indian and international economists.
The research findings were presented to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu here last night.
The panel also held talks with Chief Secretary (in charge) Anil Chandra Punetha and other senior state officials today.
The research used the 'Copenhagen Consensus approach' to study costs and benefits of various interventions.
Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics, using costbenefit analysis.
Addressing a press conference here today at the end of their three-day deliberations, Nobel laureate economist Professor Finn Kydland, Copenhagen Consensus president Bjorn Lomborg and other members of the panel said the Chief Minister asked them to submit an action plan for implementation of the research findings.
"We will come up with a concrete action plan in the next two months," Lomborg said.
Computer-assisted learning for children at the right level, provision of micronutrients for pregnant women and other health care interventions were among the "smartest solutions" the panel advocated for the state.
"Cardiovascular disease is very high in AP. Screening of 30-69 year-olds for the disease and treating high blood pressure with polypills could avoid more than 2.6 lakh deaths over 13 years," Lomborg said.
He said domestic violence was "extremely concerning" in the state, with approximately one in two married women experiencing it.
Combining micro finance with module on gender transformation by spending Rs 142 crore could reduce intimate partner violence by 55 per cent, he suggested.
Health and economic benefits of this intervention could be around Rs 3000 crore, he pointed out.
Women self-help groups and communities should be mobilised to combat domestic violence, Lomborg added.
Former CEO of Oxfam India Nisha Agarwal, global business leader Vinita Bali and Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research S Mahendra Dev are also part of the eminent economists panel.
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