Skip to main content

Gujarat's development dilemma

Arvind Kejriwal
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 you please let me know where I could get the Gujarat agriculture data from so that I could do my own research? I went tohttp://agri.gujarat.gov.in/ (Gujarat agriculture department website) but couldn’t find any data there.”
I forwarded him another online story on Gujarat agriculture, based on the data provided to me by the state agriculture department, but not made public. It did not give any consolidated figure but suggested that between 2003-04 and 2012-13 Gujarat’s foodgrains production grew by 3.27 per cent per annum, cotton by 2.45 per cent, and oilseeds went down by (-) 2.71 per cent. The expert researched data online, and found that data till 2011-12 were available. But he again complained, he couldn’t get data for 2012-13. He wondered: “How did you get data from agriculture department? Did you file RTI?” I didn’t know what to say. Actually, I had obtained it from an official, who wanted the “latest real picture” to be made known.
The interaction with this researcher didn’t end here. I forwarded him a few more data on gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Gujarat, one of which said that, at current prices, Gujarat’s growth rate in 2012-13 was 13.98 per cent, based on which a Gujarat-based expert had guessed that the state’s real growth rate (at constant prices, after deducting inflation) wouldn’t be more than 7 per cent. The figure is based on advanced estimate in a budget document released in February 2013. I wondered, as the Gujarat government had still not released GSDP growth rate at constant prices, whether he could work it out.
His reply stunned me. He said: “The data you are using 13.98 per cent seems to be outdated.” These are based on Gujarat government’s fiscal responsibility report, which is “dated February 2013.” He added, “The GSDP of Gujarat was Rs 6,70,016 crore (at current prices) in 2012-13 as against 6,20,044 crore in 2011-12. That is a growth of 8.1 per cent (at current prices). The Rs 6,70,016 crore figure is from the Gujarat finance minister’s speech in February 2014. Also, I have Rs 6,20,044 crore figure for 2011-12 from the Wikipedia.” So, what would be the real growth rate of Gujarat, if it’s 8.1 per cent at current prices? Presuming the GDP deflator for Gujarat at 165.0, the real growth, he said, should be about 1.8 per cent!
Of course, he added a caveat: “Unfortunately, deflator is based on own judgment. Usually, it should be close to the consumer price index, but there has been divergence in the past. I read somewhere Gujarat inflation was below national average in 2012-13. Anyways, GDP deflator is known to be subject to manipulation by various governments. Given this is election year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see governments playing around with GDP deflator. Using a reasonable deflator of 165.0 (as against India’s 171.3), it seems real GDP growth (at constant prices) of Gujarat was not even be 2 per cent. Even if Gujarat plays around with deflator, real GDP growth doesn't look too good.”
I was left wondering: Why have experts in India, keenly debating Gujarat model, failed to see this simple fact? I decided to look at Gujarat finance minister Nitin Patel’s budget speech of February 2014, which had “proudly” proclaimed, “The GSDP (at current prices), which was Rs 1,11,139 crore in the year 2000-01, has increased to Rs 6,70,016 crore in the financial year 2012-13.” Indeed, the researcher was right. The Gujarat government had revised downwards its own estimate of GSDP for 2012-13 (at current prices) from Rs 6,97,298 crore to Rs 6,70,016 crore! I didn’t rely on Wikipedia figure for 2011-12, which mentions no source. I, instead, decided to refer to the current price GSDP data released by the Planning Commission.
What I got was this: Gujarat’s current price GSDP for 2011-12, according to the Planning Commission, was Rs 6,11,767 crore (as against Wikipedia’s Rs 6,20,044 crore). Gujarat was one of the three states which had not handed over their current price GSDP for 2012-13 to the Planning Commission – others being Kerala and Rajasthan. If one takes into consideration the state finance minister’s data of February 2014 – of Rs 6,70,016 crore GSDP in 2012-13 – the growth rate (at current price) would come to 9.52 per cent, as against the all-India average of 13.25 per cent. And this is the lowest compared to all major states!
This is the picture you get for other states (as reported by the Planning Commission) – Andhra Pradesh 13.83 per cent, Assam 13.45 per cent, Bihar 24.96 per cent, Chhattisgarh 14.82 per cent, Haryana 14.90 per cent, Himachal Pradesh 12.95 per cent, Jammu & Kashmir 12.72 per cent, Jharkhand 14.34 per cent, Karnataka 13.47 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 16.85 per cent, Maharashtra 14.43 per cent, Odisha 19.84 per cent, Punjab 13.88 per cent, Tamil Nadu 11.90 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 13.36 per cent, Uttarakhand 15.06 per cent, and West Bengal 16.89 per cent.
While it is not possible to know the real growth rate (at constant prices) in the absence of a reliable deflator, with 9.52 per cent of growth rate at current prices (lowest compared to all major states), there is reason to ask a pointed question: What has happened to the Gujarat model or its much-talked-about resilience to economic shocks and slowdown? What has happened to the strong “stabilizing influences” of Gujarat economy? And, if 2012-13 advanced estimates at current prices could be released in February 2013, why similar advanced estimates couldn’t be released in February 2014 while releasing the interim budget documents? It is because in 2013-14, again, Gujarat economy has performed badly?
---
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/true-lies/gujarat-s-development-dilemma/

Comments

TRENDING

Hold your breath! UK ex-Muslims to celebrate Blasphemy Day on September 30

Soheil Arabi The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), in a suprise move, has decided to observe September 30 as the Blasphemy Day. In an email alert, Maryam Namazie, CEMB spokesperson, has asked anyone interested to join CEMB in celebrating blasphemy by " uploading your photo into our #blasphemyday frame and sharing on social media."

Diaspora protest as Biden failed to publicly address persecution of minorities in India

As Modi addressed UN, human rights groups decried “monstrosity” of persecution of Muslims, Christians, Dalits, and other minorities in India. Demonstrators gathered outside UN to protest fascism, hate campaigns, weaponized rape, apartheid, lynchings, unlawful arrests, attacks on the media, and other abuses in India: A report distributed by the diaspora group Hindus for Human Rights: *** While observers said it was “shameful” that President Biden failed to publicly address widespread persecution of religious minorities in India when he met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24, more than 100 members of interfaith and human rights groups spoke out as Modi addressed the United Nations General Assembly. Speakers condemned the egregious human rights violations and murders of religious minorities in India under a government that openly supports Hindu supremacy. The rally was sponsored by 21 organizations, including Ambedkar International Center, Ambedkar King S

What this veteran Gandhian witnessed at Rajghat is indeed intensely disturbing

Renowned Gandhian, activist and physicist Professor VK Tripathi witnessed an “intensely worrisome” event at the Gandhi Samadhi on his birthday on October 2, 2021. “The children of the Hindutva criminals who assassinated him have captured places which are supposed to keep Gandhiji's heritage alive”, says Deepak Joshi in a Faceook post, insisting, “We should strongly protest against it. It is already too late.”

Forthcoming book explodes Western myth: Personal qualities are biologically inherited

Jonathan Latham, PhD, Executive Director, The Bioscience Resource Project, New York, has said in an email alert via JanVikalp that his forthcoming book about genetics and genetic determinism, provisionally titled "The Myth of The Master Molecule: DNA and the Social Order" criticises the notion that personal qualities are biologically inherited: *** The contention of the book is that the key organising principle of Western thought is the seemingly innocuous and seemingly simple idea that our personal qualities are biologically inherited. That is, our character derives from our ancestors rather than being an always-adapting product of our own experiences, decisions, and education. The book makes the case, first, that genetic determinism is a scientific fallacy. Organisms are self-organised systems and therefore are not genetically determined. Second, the explanation for the myth, which predates Mesopotamian cities of 6,000 years ago, is its utility. Genetic determinism rationa

International Energy Agency floats new plan to end oil, gas, and coal expansion

In major shift, International Energy Agency (IEA)’s World Energy Outlook has mainstreamed 1.5°C pathway, showing need to end oil, gas, and coal expansion, insisting on new fossil fuel phase-out benchmarks in order to test government ambition ahead of COP26. A report by Oil Change International, distributed by BankTrack: *** For the first time, the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s flagship annual report on global energy pathways, used worldwide to influence trillions of dollars in investment, details an achievable roadmap to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C). By making a 1.5°C scenario the benchmark of this year’s World Energy Outlook (WEO), the IEA challenges governments and companies to back up lagging Paris pledges with immediate action to shift the energy system away from fossil fuels. Notably, this year’s WEO solidifies the policy conclusion, first presented by the IEA in May , that no new oil, gas, and coal extraction projects should be approved under a 1.5°C-

UN Food Systems Summit paved the way for greater control of big corporations

In a sharp critique of the  UN Food Systems Summit, a statement released by the People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty, a global network of NGOs, has accused UN meet of being steered by big corporations, even as the Global South was pushed back. *** The Global People’s Summit (GPS) on Food Systems slammed the recently concluded UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS) for paving the way for greater control of big corporations over global food systems and misleading the people through corporate-led false solutions to hunger and climate change. “It was just as we expected. While branding itself as the ‘People’s Summit’ and even the ‘Solutions Summit,’ the UN FSS did not listen to the voices of marginalized rural peoples, nor forward real solutions to the food, biodiversity and climate crises. Instead, it let powerful nations and big corporations play an even bigger role in determining food and agricultural policies. The UN has finally made it clear what ‘multilateralism’ is all about—paying l

Ex-official: Why not offer Vaishnaw loss making BSNL, Air India to prove his worth?

By Rajiv Shah A senior chartered accountant, whom I have known intimately (I am not naming him, as I don’t have his permission), has forwarded me an Indian Express (IE) story (July 18), “Ashwini Vaishnaw: The man in the chair”, which, he says, “contradicts” the blog (July 17), "Will Vaishnaw, close to Modi since Vajpayee days, ever be turnaround man for Railways?" I had written a day earlier and forwarded it to many of my friends.

Gujarat cadre woman IAS official who objected to Modi remark on sleeveless blouse

By Rajiv Shah Two days back, a veteran journalist based in Patna, previously with the Times of India, Ahmedabad, phoned me up to inform me that he had a sad news: Swarnakanta Varma, a retired Gujarat cadre IAS bureaucrat, who was acting chief secretary on the dastardly Godhra train burning day, February 27, 2002, which triggered one of the worst ever communal riots in Gujarat, has passed away due to Covid. “I have been informed about this from a friend in Jaipur, where she breathed her last”, Law Kumar Mishra said.

Known to have assissinated O'Dwyer, Udham Singh chose not to apologise to the British

Udham Singh (26 December 1899 – 31 July 1940), best known for assassinating Michael O'Dwyer , the former lieutenant governor of the Punjab in India , on 13 March 1940, done in revenge for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919, for which O'Dwyer was responsible, was subsequently tried and convicted of murder and hanged in July 1940. While in custody, he used the name Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, which represents the three major religions of India and his anti-colonial sentiment. Writes a well-known analyst, "He too could have apologised. He chose the noose instead!" Udham Singh's speech prior to sentencing in UK: *** “I say down with British Imperialism. You say India do not have peace. We have only slavery Generations of so called civilisation has brought us everything filthy and degenerating. known to the human race. All you have to do is read your own history. If you have any human decency about you, you should die with shame. The brutality and blood

Indian Doctors for Truth want Modi to stop overzealous universal vaccination drive

At a time when there is a huge demand to ensure that vaccination should be universal in order to gain immunity against the pandemic, an organisation called Indian Doctors for Truth, have asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the “urgent need to stop the overzealous universal vaccination drive against Covid-19.  Read the letter, signed by 18 doctors and a health expert: ***