Thursday, December 13, 2012

How vibrant is our Gujarat?

Gujarat ranks number one on the list of states with lowest allocation to education sector in comparison with its total budget outlay. There is an overall perception of Gujarat doing extremely well but the regular employment growth rate (not those taken on contracts or casual labour) was 2.7% in 1993-94 and remains the same today. While the all-India growth rate of wages in the manufacturing sector has been 3.7%, in Gujarat the growth rate has been just 1.5%. There has been an increase from 19% in 1993-94 to 34% in 2001-08 in contractual work scenario. Gujarat has been experiencing severe labour unrest. This could be because regular employment has stagnated in the state. The share of scheduled tribes in regular employment in Gujarat was 7% in 1993-94. In 2009-2010, their share remained the same. The story is not much different for other marginalised communities and minorities.


    These and many more startling observations bust the myth of 'vibrant' Gujarat. “Gujarat, depicted by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his government is more of a marketing exercise besides a striking model of perception management. Other states wanting to emulate it should be wary as Gujarat growth story is more of afable than a reality. With many grey shades,” says Dr Atul Sood, an economics expert at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Dr Sood along with 12 other known academicians - economists, researchers and social scientists -- made these observations, busting the myth of Gujarat at a national workshop on “Development Dynamics of Gujarat” at Central University in Gandhinagar recently. However, Gujarat government has dubbed findings of the workshop as “baseless, misleading and completely motivated”. Government spokesman and senior minister Jay Narayan Vyas told M i r - r o r,“The indicators taken in consideration to determine stagnancy or to dub Gujarat as not vibrant are themselves flawed. These are completely biased parameters and I am surprised that such senior econo- mists and academicians have computed this. “In the present day of automation, employment which was earlier labour intensive has changed its character. Go through the data of last seven years and you will realise that the Union Ministry of Labour has concluded that Gujarat is number one in employment generation. Of the total employment generated through all employment exchanges in the country, 72% was in Gujarat. This itself is a very major achievement.”
    Exact parameter of growth is disposable personal income and this has gone up overwhelmingly in Gujarat during the BJP rule. The personal disposable income of Gujarat and Gujarati is much higher than the national average and that is what really matters,” Vyas said.
    “Data cannot be used or misused to suit one's malafide interests,” he added.
WORRISOME FINDINGS  “Gujarat growth story is known. A lot of other states are expected to emulate it. So we decided to dissect and deconstruct the Gujarat growth story. We were just keen to analyse it but what came up was worrisome results and unexpected insights,” Prof Sood, told M i r r o r. “Gujarat has recorded a robust growth but instead of emulating Gujarat growth story blindly, it is essential that lessons are learnt. The foremost lesson is to constrain the influence of market and its allied forces. Giving in completely to the market is not good for a state or any economy. These results are of much significance because the experts computing the data did not rely on any figures or statistics obtained by any non-governmental source. Only government organisations and sources from National Sample Survey to Socio-Economic Review of Government of Gujarat were considered,” Prof Sood said.
    The researchers studied Gujarat along with Maharahstra,..