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Changing Character of Rural Economy and Migrant Labour in Punjab

Singh, Lakhwinder and Singh, Inderjeet and Ghuman, Ranjit Singh (2007): Changing Character of Rural Economy and Migrant Labour in Punjab.

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Abstract

Rural economy of Punjab has been undergoing structural transformation. But the dependence of rural population in general and rural labour in particular for earning livelihood from the rural economy continues. This process of rural transformation has perpetuated the distress among the rural workforce. It is strange phenomenon that migrant labour continues to pour into the rural areas. The rural economy of Punjab, due to wage gap, continues to attract huge amount of inflow of people from other poorer states of India. Rural-rural migration, which is largely seasonal and stay of workers in most cases, is less than six months. Therefore, the official statistics on migration grossly under record the rural-rural migration. Attempt has been made in this paper to fill this gap. Despite the fact that rural real wage rate has declined between the period 1990 and 2000, however, rural-rural migration has increased during the same period. The majority of the migrants (more than 90 per cent) are able to find work in agriculture up to 50 days in a year. It has wide ranging implications for the rural-rural migration and level of living of the families of the migrants.

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