Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New data with Central Statistical Organisation suggest, Gujarat growth rate worse than 16 major states

Growth rate in 2012-13 at current prices. Source: CSO
By Our Representative
New revised data handed over to the Central Statistical Organization (CSO), Government of India, by all state governments, and in possession of Counterview, suggest that Gujarat’s growth rate for 2012-13 was 12.69 per cent (at current prices, without deducting inflation) as against 9.52 per cent, as earlier reported on the basis of Planning Commission data (click HERE). Even then, the data suggest that Gujarat’s performance was worse than as many as 16 out of 20 major Indian states, and better than just three states -- Assam (12.56 per cent), Punjab (11.85 per cent), and Tamil Nadu (11.90 per cent). The Gujarat government has not released its data yet.
The states which had a better growth rate than Gujarat are Andhra Pradesh (13.86 per cent), Bihar (26.96 per cent), Chhattisgarh (15.62 per cent), Haryana (14.33 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (13.48 per cent), Jammu & Kashmir (14.93 per cent), Jharkhand (14.58 per cent), Karnataka (14.30 per cent), Kerala (13.46 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (19.41 per cent), Maharashtra (14.43 per cent), Odisha (19.05 per cent), Rajasthan (13.83 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (13.24 per cent), Uttarakhand (16.68 per cent), and West Bengal (15.23 per cent).”
The only “consolation” for Gujarat is that it is not the “worst” – and has "managed to defeat” three major states in the race for growth rate, one of whom is a poor state, Assam, and the other two are Punjab and Tamil Nadu. Yet, if the data handed over to the CSO are any indication, even after following this “revision” by most states, the Gujarat government has refused to hand over the advanced estimate (AE) for 2013-14, though large number of states have already done it. Last year, the AE for 2012-13 was released in February 2013. “Only a top ex-official of state planning department, known for his skills in handling data, should know why”, a senior official told Counterview.
Insiders say, instead of revising data upwards, which most states have done, Gujarat officials were to forced to “manipulate” its data downwards for two years (2010-11 and 2011-12) in order to show that Gujarat’s growth rate in 2012-13 was as not the worst in India, but was a better “somewhat better.” A senior official, requesting anonymity, told Counteview, Gujarat’s “manipulation happened in February 2014”, after it was “internally found” that the growth rate worked out by the state planning department suggested a mere 9.52 per cent rise at current prices, lowest in India.
The exercise in “adjusting” data continued for quite some. A former additional chief secretary, Government of Gujarat, known for his economic skills, allegedly supervised the exercise. The national Planning Commission had been asking for current price data from Gujarat officials for 2012-13 data, but it refused to part with it for entire last year. The result was, while all states handed over 2012-13 data, found reflected in August 2013 Planning Commission documents, Gujarat government did not.
The data Gujarat government, handed over to the CSO, which have still not been reflected in the Planning Commission site, suggest how Gujarat revised downwards growth rates for 2010-11 and 2011-12 to give an “even picture of balanced growth" for the past three years. “The result is that, now there are two set of data – one on the Planning Commission website, and another, those that have been handed over to the CSO, but not reflected on the official Gujarat government website, as still the growth rate would be worse than most states, problematic in a poll year”, this official said.
The Planning Commission-approved data suggest that Gujarat’s growth rate for 2010-11 was Rs 530,430 crore, and for 2011-12 Rs 611,767 crore. The revised data “handed over” to the CSO were Rs 521,519 crore and Rs 594,563 crore respectively. The result was, while the Planning Commission data suggested a growth rate of 22.99 per cent in 2010-11 and 15.33 per cent in 2011-12, following the new update, the growth rate for both the years went down to 20.93 per cent and 14.01 per cent, which wasn’t bad enough to show that Gujarat grew relatively better three years and better than a few states.
“The manipulation has helped increase the growth rate for 2012-13 from 9.52 per cent to 12.69 per cent”, the official said, adding, “There is a failure to understand in many quarters that if the 2012-13 data (Rs 670,017 crore, released by state finance minister Nitin Patel during his budget speech in Gujarat state assembly) are calculated against the Planning Commission data for 2011-12 (Rs 597,573), the growth rate would be 9.52 per cent. But if this is calculated against the data handed over to the CSO, the growth rate for 2012-13 would be 12.69 per cent”, the official said.

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