We’ve heard people talk highly of the ‘Gujarat model’ and what it’s done for the state. We’ve also heard people ask if there is any such thing as the ‘Gujarat model’. But whether you’re a believer or naysayer, a quick look at various parameters for states clearly reveals Gujarat is a leading Indian state.
Global analytics company CRISIL’s “States of Growth 2.0” report, which came out in January this year, is a recent addition to credible literature that speaks to Gujarat’s continued success. Here’s what the numbers say:
During the 2013-17 period, Gujarat grew at 9.9 per cent -- the highest among all the states. It was able to achieve this even as it kept its fiscal deficit in check at less than 3 per cent of GDP.
Growth looks good on paper, but has it been positively impacting the lives of people in Gujarat? Turns out, yes. Inflation has been kept in check. The growth has pushed up employment, too -- which wasn’t the case for most other states.
Even in terms of the effort put in to grow and manage startup ecosystems, Gujarat emerged as the “best performer”. Both in health and infrastructure, too, Gujarat comes out as a leader.
If you look at debt ratio, CRISIL’s report shows that Gujarat is among a handful of states whose debt ratio improved from 2013 to 2018. And Gujarat has managed this despite participation in UDAY, unlike West Bengal.
Gujarat is also only trailing the leaders Kerala and Himachal Pradesh in terms of pursuing sustainable development goals, which lay the path for the overall well-being of society.
It appears that Gujarat’s priorities are right, including public spending and careful planning for sustainability along with encouraging growth. And it has not fallen into the trap of excess welfarism. The state has been able to keep its freebie handout instincts in check while remaining focused on growth -- and this is paying Gujarat really good dividends.
I urge you to read Swati Kamal’s story to get a more elaborate picture on this. You can read it on Swarajya. That’s all for today’s episode of Spec. Catch you next time.
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