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Is Narendra Modi government distorting Maharashtra's growth story for poll gain?


Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
New Delhi, Oct 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his election campaigns in Maharashtra is constantly comparing state's slow development with neighbouring Gujarat. The former Gujarat chief minister, who was voted for the development work in Gujarat, has attacked the UPA government for derailing Maharashtra's success story and is seeking votes in the name of growth and employment.

But when we take a look at the figures revealed by the Sixth Economic Census released in August, it tells a different story.

A look at the data revealed by the census shows that Maharashtra is ahead of Gujarat in various ways. For instance in gross state domestic product (GSDP), Maharashtra has maintained a considerable lead since 2001- 02, from when the figures are available.

The census data revealed that Maharashtra was at top in providing employment and stood at second position in the number of establishments.

The report said, "Maharashtra has the maximum number of employees at 1.43 crore, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 1.37 crore, West Bengal at 1.15 crore, Tamil Nadu 1.08 crore and Gujarat at 90.63 lakh. Among union territories, Delhi has the maximum number of employees at 29.84 lakh followed by Chandigarh at 2.38 lakh and Puducherry at 2.17 lakh in 2013."

Gujarat is fifth in terms of employment as compared to Maharashtra which stands at first position.

The overall growth rate in number of establishments during the intervening period of the Fifth Economic Census (2005) and Sixth Economic Census is 41.73%.

And if we talk about total number establishments, then of the total number of establishments in India, Maharashtra has more than 6 million (10.48%), while Gujarat has nearly 4 million (6.83%).

As per a TOI report, "Former Maharashtra Planning Commission chairperson Ratnakar Gaikwad said Maharashtra's state gross domestic product is double that of Gujarat, and foreign direct investment at Rs 2.41 lakh crore is more than that of Gujarat at Rs 35,927 crore."

"It is not about comparison. It is about consistency of performance. Even in the human development index (HDI) parameters, be it average school years up to 12 years of age, Maharashtra is ahead of Gujarat. Maharashtra is more literate than Gujarat, Maharashtra's infant mortality rate is low- er than Gujarat's. Irrespective of the hype, Maharashtra remains ahead of Gujarat,'' he further said.

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