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Showing posts from March, 2014

Annual Survey of Industries says Gujarat's 79% factories are "in operation", which is lower than most states

By Rajiv Shah
The latest Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) report, released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, in March 2014, has revealed that out of a total of 22,220 factories in Gujarat, 17,529 are operational, suggesting that 21.11 per cent of the factories are either “closed” or are “not in operation”. This is higher than the all-India average of 19.33 per cent factories, “closed” or “not in operation”, but is lower than two major states out of 20 -- Haryana (21.42 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (37.95 per cent).
State-wise breakup suggests that Gujarat’s 79.89 per cent of the factories were in operation at the time when the survey was carried out, October 2012 to April 2013. This is against, Andhra Pradesh’s 79.85 per cent of operational factories (22,124 out of 27,708 factories), Karnataka’s 82.54 per cent operational factories (9459 out of 11460), Maharashtra’s 80.15 per cent operational factories (22,615 out of 28,215), Punjab’s 80.46 …

Gujarat's development dilemma

By Rajiv Shah
A few days back, I received an email from a non-resident Indian, working as an expert researcher in a US consultancy firm which provides different types of financial services. He said he was googling around on Gujarat development issues and chanced to see my story, based on analysis carried out by an IAS officer who retired as additional chief secretary, Gujarat government, CJ Jose. He was “helping out” Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in any possible way he could, and had followed Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Gujarat closely. And, he had begun doing “some research” on the Gujarat development model, about which so much was being talked about. I am not revealing his name, as he asked me not to quote him.
Referring to my story, his email said, “I know Kejriwal has questioned Modi’s claims of more than 10 per cent agriculture growth, and has said Gujarat agriculture growth has been 1.18 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), whereas you claim the growth to be 0.82 per cent. Could yo…

Gujarat model? Budget paper reveals, state's current price growth rate in 2012-13 was worse than all states

By Rajiv Shah
In a major revelation, Gujarat’s rate of growth for the financial year 2012-13 was not only below the national average, but less than all major Indian states which have cared to make public gross state domestic product (GSDP) figures for that year. Latest GSDP figures, revealed by Gujarat’s finance minister Nitin Patel while presenting the interim budget for 2014-15, suggest that the state’s growth rate at current prices (i.e. without deducting inflation) in 2012-13 was just 9.52 per cent (rising from Rs 6,11,767 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 6,70,016 crore in 2012-13). This is against the national average (at current prices) of 13.26 per cent.
More important, no major Indian state experienced such low growth rate. Planning Commission figures show, Andhra Pradesh’s rate of growth was 13.83 per cent, Assam’s 13.45 per cent, Bihar’s 24.96 per cent, Chhattisgarh’s 14.82 per cent, Haryana’s 14.90 per cent, Himachal Pradesh’s 12.95 per cent, Jammu & Kashmir’s 12.72 per cent, Jha…

Development model? Half of Indian states' households have higher purchasing power than Gujarat: NSS

By Rajiv Shah In what many may consider as another “expose” of the Gujarat development model sought to be sold across the country during the Lok Sabha elections, the latest National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report, “Level and Pattern of Consumer Expenditure, 2011-12”, released in February 2014, has revealed that the average spending capacity of Gujarat households, as reflected in monthly per capita expenditure (MPCE), is lower than 11 out of 20 major states in the rural areas and nine out of 20 major states in the urban areas.  The figures suggest that at the MPCE of Rs 1,536, spending capacity of Gujarat’s rural households is lower than Andhra Pradesh (Rs 1,754), Haryana (Rs 2,176), Himachal Pradesh (Rs 2,034), Jammu & Kashmir (Rs 1,743), Karnataka (Rs 1,561), Kerala (2,669), Maharashtra (Rs 1,619), Punjab (Rs 2,345), Rajasthan (Rs 1,598), Tamil Nadu (Rs 1,693), and Uttarakhand (Rs 1,726). The all-India average for the rural areas, on account of even lower spending capaci…

Impact of 2002 riots: Gujarat has "long way to go" to catch up with "industrial leader" Maharashtra: CMIE

By Rajiv Shah
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India’s topnotch independent economic thinktank headquartered in Mumbai, has suggested that half-a-dozen biennial Vibrant Gujarat business summits sponsored by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to whitewash the impact of the 2002 communal riots have failed achieve their desired result. In a recent commentary, it has said, the Gujarat industrial investment was severely hit “following the 2002 riots”, and the result was, the “net capital formation was negative for three consecutive years following the riots.”
“In the last two years for which the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) data is available (2009-10 and 2010-11), Gujarat made good progress on investments”, opines CMIE’s Mahesh Vyas, adding, “Its fall post the 2002 riots and its recent rise in investments as seen in the ASI data matches our observations from CMIE’s CapEx data.” However, Vyas regrets, “But, the last two years cannot undo the damage of the fall in inve…

Gujarat govt "revives" controversial 2009 plan to lay down underground Narmada pipelines in command area

By Rajiv Shah
Rattled by its failure to take on hand the work to construct what are called “sub-minor” canals to take Narmada waters right up to the farmers’ fields, the Gujarat government is all set to revive its 2009 plan, devised by then Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) chairman NV Patel, who said an underground water pipeline grid network alone was the solution of the tangled problem. Patel’s view was rejected later by a high-level committee appointed by the state government, which dropped it like a hot potato, declaring it is not implementable. However, now the state government wants to once again return it to irrigation 18 lakh hectares (ha) of Narmada command.
A top Gujarat bureaucrat has told Counterview that, despite best efforts to complete rest of the canal network, its decision to construct sub-minors overground “cannot be implemented” because of two problems – one, it would mean huge amount of land acquisition cutting into farmers’ fields, which private contractors…

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Rajiv Shah
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s tallest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response from top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”
A senior official, requesting anonymity, told Counterview that “only two companies have filled up tenders, and both are Indian”. One of them is the well-known infrastructure firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which was involved in the construction of the so-called Mahatma Mandir, meant to hold high-profile business summits in Gujarat state capital. The other one is little-known …