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Showing posts from May, 2013

Politics and economics of Gujarat drought

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By Rajiv Shah
Gujarat Sachivalaya is abuzz with a strange speculation. The speculation is especially significant as it is taking rounds of the top state corridors of power at a time when Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has launched his month-long Krishi Mahotsav, an annual event to “teach” farmers what they should sow and how. While all agree in Sachivalaya that in the year 2012-13, Gujarat’s agricultural growth rate slipped in the negative, officials are unable to quantify the percentage.
Discussions have taken place on the matter, including at the highest level. While one bureaucrat said, in 2012-13, thanks to what he termed as “near-drought” situation, agricultural growth rate slipped to minus ( --) 3 per cent, another disagreed. “Soon you will hear from authoritative sources: Agriculture has slipped to around minus ( -- ) 13 per cent… In certain places in Gujarat, especially Saurashtra, you will be told, agricultural growth slipped to minus ( -- ) 22 per cent.”
There is reaso…