Sonia’s Rae Bareli’s Poor Show in National Rankings

Rae Bareli district in Uttar Pradesh, represented in the Lok Sabha by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has recorded the sharpest drop in a national ranking of districts by financial inclusion while more than 90 per cent of the districts have done better.

The ‘Inclusix’ index, compiled by rating agency Crisil and launched by Finance Minister P Chidambaram earlier this year, is to be a ready reckoner on how the states and districts have fared on financial inclusion. It measures achievements on the basis of growth in bank branch numbers, deposits and credit provided.

While the index shows 587 of the 638 districts in the country have improved their performance in 2012 compared to 2011, the pace of progress has been uneven.

Rae Bareli is among the rare districts where the score has turned adverse on all counts. It has slipped to the 391st rank from 309 in 2011.

Sivaganga district, Chidambaram’s constituency, has also slipped but only marginally by three positions.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s Amethi was not ranked in 2011 but is 217th in 2012. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s Farrukhabad district slipped to 342 from 336.

Among opposition leaders, Vidisha district in Madhya Pradesh, represented in the Lok Sabha by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, has improved its ranking to 441 from 478. However, Gandhinagar, represented by L K Advani, has slipped marginally to 241 from 239.

The index shows that in the state-wise sweepstakes, Gujarat ranks a lowly 15th with Kerala on top. In fact, no Gujarat district figures in the list of the top 50 districts for financial inclusion. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan also have no district in the top-50 club.

Kerala has 13 districts on the list with five of them figuring among the top 10. All four southern states are among the top 10 states. In northern India, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab are the leaders at the seventh and eighth positions.