In one of my economics lectures, I was stated a lot of facts and figures from an economist’s point of view, obviously by an economist. I would today like to point some things from a common man’s view. A lot of comments and fingers were raised against Modi, Gujarat and its development. I will try to show the absolute truth.

I was told some growth rates and Gujarat’s growth rate was compared to others in terms of percentage of growth rates by the economist. However, Gujarat has been consistently progressing at 10 odd percentage since 10 years. Also, comparing percentages in growth rates is little absurd by logic. US expanded 1.9% in their first quarter of 2012 while India had 5.3% growth. That does not make India better that US. Also, Gujarat’s per capita GDP is above the national average.

Talking about bank deposits for 2012, per capita deposit for Gujarat stood at Rs 52541 which is 25 times more than Rs 2061 – the national average registered during 2000-2010. As on March 2001, total depostis in Gujarat was Rs 55049 crores which increased to Rs 2,72,071 crores at the end of March 2011. Per capita credit had also increased. Average per capita credit was Rs 1,503 for 2000-2010 which rose to Rs 37,563 at the end of March 2012. Total credit in state at end of March 2001 was Rs 26,701 crores which increased to Rs 1,87,803 crores as of March 2011.

 

During last 5 years, deposits have registered a growth of 104% jumping from Rs 1,54,832 crores to Rs 3,17,264 crores. Since, 2007-08, growth of deposits in banks increased at the healthy rate of 17.5% to 24%. Only in 2011-12, due to high inflation, growth rate of deposits fell below 17%. Inflation was caused by external factors and Modi cannot be blamed for it. Rather, policy paralysis by UPA-II is responsible for inflaton.

 

We may deposit low as the economist stated to me in our lecture, but we spend in infrastructure. That is the actual development. In Gujarat, we have 18,000 villages. Neary 100% of Gujarat’s villages have 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply. No state other than Gujarat can boast of surplus electricity. Gujarat has 87.9% of asphalt surfaced roads. 98.86 of villages are connected with all-weather roads. It is one of the highest percentage in India.

 

Gujarat has the highest optical fibre cable network of more than 50,000 kms. State owned WAN is the largest IP based ICT network in Asia Pacific region (beating China) and second largest in the world. All villages have broadband connectivity and regular water supply. Which state in India can boast of such facilities? I remember staying in some “metro” and “developed” cities and suffering from power cuts. In Gujarat, we did not have a single power cut this summer.

 

Gujarat primarily produces milk, milk products, cement, sugarcane, cotton (33-36% of national production) and oil seeds (32-41%). The cotton for the white shirt my economist was wearing while criticizing Gujarat had a high probability of being produced in Gujarat.

 

The economist stated that Gujarat’s agricultural output has decreased and the people are facing a shortage of grains. This is the fact. Over the years, food grains production has been decreasing in Uttar Pradesh. Cultivable land has decreased by 30% due to rampant development in UP. The cement and concrete leaves the land uncultivable. UP barely manages to feed itself despite having bumper crops last year. Every state is feeling the pressure of this shortage. So, people not getting grains is a matter of concern not just for the state but for centre also. This shared responsibility is stated in the concurrent list of constitution. So, Modi cannot be blamed for it. Also, in Gujarat, unlike other states, the agricultural growth is more than 9% for last 5 years. This is the highest in India. Gujarat came in for praise by Washington based International Institute for Food Policy research for the same.

 

The economist said that there are CAG reports pending against Modi. CBI, the premier prosecuting wing in India, comes directly under the PMO. I fail to understand why congress or UPA wouldn’t act if they have evidence against Modi. The economist said that CAG estimates for Coalgate and 2G scam were rough estimates. But the fact is that CAG auditors we have are the best auditors in the world. UN had chosen Indian CAg auditors to audit their accounts though British auditors cost less. This was stated by CAG Vinod Rai.

 

For life expectancy and other human factors which were again questioned by the economist, following is the data from Economic Survey of last year. Life expectancy in Gujarat is 64.1 against the national average of 63.5. Infant mortality rate is 44 against 47. Birth rate (per 1000) is 21.8 against 22.8. Death rate is 6.7 against 7.2. Gross enrollment ratio is higher than national average. Literacy rate is 79.31% against 74.04% (national average). 84.1% of population in Gujarat has access to safe drinking water against 77.9% people in India. We are under 5% of the population, but we give 16% of the industrial output and 22% of exports.

 

We in Gujarat have the youngest police force and lowest crime ratio in India. We haven’t had a curfew since past 10 years. A woman is safe to talk on roads at night in Gujarat. Ahmedabad has lowest crime ratio of 35 Indian cities with a population of more than 10 million. We do not have naxalites or Maoists issues.

 

In 2009, the PM increased the budget allocation of solar energy and research to <0.001% to 0.004%. In 2012, we inaugurated a solar park developed in 16 months. More importantly, we dedicated it to the people of the nation. It produces 214 MW power and surpassed China’s Golmud Park in terms of potential output of electricity.

 

The economist said that the PM did a wonderful job in 1991 which led to the economic boom. But surprisingly, he also criticized Sachin Tendulkar for riding on past laurels. Atleast, Sachin has scored more than 1000 runs 7 times in past 10 years. Since 2004, no big or impacting measures have been taken by our PhD in Economics PM to boost our economy. Because of this, money has been pulled out of India and our investment ratings are downgraded. This has resulted in reform and policy paralysis in India.

 

The most recent and wonderful this I heard from our reputed economists was the poverty line ratio. 25 Rs/day was the poverty line in cities and Rs 22.42/day for rural areas. You might argue that this was fixed by Montek Alhuwalia. But by virtue of office, the ex-officio chairman of planning commission is the PM. Montek is the deputy chairman. For planning commission to go and file a petition in SC to fix poverty line, they need an approval from PM and they got one!

 

 

SC recently rapped the UPA government because people were dying of hunger and food grains were rotting in godowns. The UPA also tried to brush in the 2G scan under the carpet which was later exposed due to efforts of SUbramaniam Swamy. Why such hurry to dispose the case? I refuse to see Sonia Gandhi as my PM. I also refuse to see Rahul Gandhi for the same role. As per our constitution, which is written by a Marathi and a minority (not a Gujarati), a person should be born in India to be a PM. Both Sonia and Rahul are not born in India. Hence, they are incapable of being the PM. Also, their dismal records as leaders also support my case (source: prsindia.org). Sonia’s attendance in parliament is 46% while Rahul’s attendance is 42%.  The average attendance is 77%. Both the mother and son have participated in only 1 debate while the average is above 40. Questions asked by them and bills raised are 0. Average questions asked by MPs are 100+ and bills per MP is 1. How can these people represent my country when they fail to raise questions and propose bills? People who cannot work for their constituency cannot lead my country.

 

As per the economist, Gujarat would be low on HDI. We many need to improve on it. But the real development is always reflected in people. In Gujarat, if you ask for directions in hindi, you will not be misguided. I am not a Gujarati. I belong to UP. I was born and brought up in Gujarat. I stayed there for more than 25 years and had the best of friends among Gujaratis. The best thing about Gujarat is that till date, none ever told me that I go not belong to Gujarat and I should leave the state.

 

Shalin Mishra

MBA ITBM – SCIT (2012-2014)

 

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