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BBC News - Is Gujarat's Red Hot Economy a Myth

BBC News - Is Gujarat's Red Hot Economy a Myth

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Published by Vijay Right
This is BBC's Original Article that asks a question based on Business Standard Article - Is Gujarat's Red Hot Economy a Myth?
This is BBC's Original Article that asks a question based on Business Standard Article - Is Gujarat's Red Hot Economy a Myth?

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Published by: Vijay Right on May 03, 2012
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BBC News - Is Gujarat's red hot economy a myth?http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17919364[5/2/2012 4:12:52 PM]
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2 May 2012
 Last updated at10:20 GMT
Is Gujarat's so-called red-hot economic growth a mythpeddled by the government of the controversial chiefminister Narendra Modi?
Mr Modi, who was blamed for not doing enough to stop thehorrific 2002 anti-Muslim riots in the state after the burningof a train carrying Hindu pilgrims, has modelled himself as ano-nonsense economic reformer leading one of India'sfastest-growing states.In March, a senior minister of his cabinet told me thatGujarat has been recording scorching double-digit growth,prompting even The Economist magazine to call it India'sGuangdong.
said Time magazinewhen it put him on the cover recently.But a raft of recent articles in the Indian media suggest thatthat Mr Modi's claims may be overblown.Examining data on the economic performance of Indianstates during a seven-year-period - 2004-11 - AK Bhattacharya, editor ofBusiness Standard, is
.He finds that its economy grew by 6.3% annually during this period, upfrom average growth every year of 3.6% - a relatively low base - in a 10-year period ending 2003.
'Breakout' state?
More interestingly, states like Uttarkhand (13.2%), Bihar (10.9%),Maharashtra (10.7%), Tamil Nadu (10.4%) and Haryana (10.1%)recorded double-digit growth in the seven-year period under review.None of these states have the kind of hype associated with them as doesMr Modi's Gujarat, which is often called the most business friendly statein India.
Delhi correspondent
Is Gujarat's red hot economy a myth?
Mr Modi has become synonymouswith Gujarat's growth
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BBC News - Is Gujarat's red hot economy a myth?http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17919364[5/2/2012 4:12:52 PM]
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Of the five states with double-digit growth, Mr Bhattacharya notes, threeare ruled by the Congress party, which has come under fire in the capitalfor going slow on economic reforms!So is Gujarat really the "breakout" state that Mr Modi wants the world tobelieve?"It has seen the most stable of governments for the last several years,"Mr Bhattacharya writes. "And yet, it has seen its growth hovering around6% for the last seven years." Is there something amiss?Analyst Salil Tripathi has written about how "of all the
, the oddest are some of the claims concerning the state'seconomic performance". Gujarat, he says, "has done well in recent years,but it lost ground soon after the riots, picking up pace only later".Mr Tripathi writes about how states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu andUttar Pradesh have bigger economies, and Gujarat actually spends morethan it has earned, thus depleting its surpluses.Gujarat also signed on to a fiscal responsibility law only after five otherstates did, and 20 states preceded Gujarat in implementing value addedtax.I have written in the past on how Gujarat
 among Indianstates in terms of overall hunger and malnutrition - 45% of children thereare malnourished, according to the latest Indian Human Developmentreport.The state also has a poor record in checking infant and maternalmortality. And as journalist Hartosh Singh Bal pointed out recently,Gujarat's ranking among states in terms of literacy (18th) had actuallyslipped one place, the year Mr Modi took over."These figures
" he wrote. "But you wouldn't know it reading the foreignmedia."So is Mr Modi a spinmeister or is there something everybody is missing?
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Delhi correspondent
07:44 UK time, Monday, 30 April 2012India will be watching how its cricketing god Sachin Tendulkar bats as amember of parliament.
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