Gujarat growth story is about inclusive growth that has its foundations on Modi’s vision, quick decision making, transparency and innovative development initiatives. The three key pillars of the Gujarat model are – roads, electricity and water-supply. Here are what I consider the top 5 achievements of the Modi administration:
1) Transparent, technology-enabled, decisive and largely corruption-free administration:
Modi’s Gujarat has embraced e-governance to slash corruption
Gujarat, under Narendra Modi, has been widely praised for its transparent and largely corruption-free administration. For example, the U.S Congress’s Reporttitled “India: Domestic Issues, Strategic Dynamics, and U.S. Relations observed, “ Chief Minister Narendra Modi has streamlined economic processes, removing red tape and curtailing corruption in ways that have made the state a key driver of national economic growth.”. Economists have placed Gujarat among the least corrupt states in India. [Reference: Corruption in India: the DNA and the RNA]. In fact, the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation too found corruption in Gujarat to be “relatively low”. How has he been able to do this?He took the following steps to promote good governance: [Reference: Economic Times]
2) Sweeping reforms in the power sector:
Modi: Revolutionized the power sector in Gujarat
Electricity is as basic to a country’s economy as food is to a household. Can you imagine living for just one day without electricity? Is it not a shame that India, which calls itself a “growing world power” (no pun intended), cannot supply electricity (power) to its people, especially in summer? “Power-cuts” are still a routine occurrence all over India. The industry and the “aam-admi” alike have been suffering from roiling power-cuts that have become the norm in India. [Reference: FICCI]. The overall country faced a power generation shortfall of 9% of demand between 2007 and 2012.
Amidst all this gloom, there is a bright spot (pun intended this time) -If you were living in Gujarat, you would have had 24-hours power supply around the year! Modi transformed Gujarat into a power-surplus state! [Reference: Wall Street Journal]. While power plants in the rest of India struggled to secure coal and gas for power generation, Gujarat produced 14,000 MW of electricity – surplus of 2,000 MW.[Reference: Times of India].This was not always the case. When Modi took power in 2001, the Gujarat Electricity Board was a mess. Power supply was erratic at best; power theft was rampant and the state electricity board used to bleed money. How did Modi turn the situation around? For starters, he empowered Manjula Subramaniam, a bureaucrat known for her efficiency and made her the chairperson of the GSEB (Gujarat State Electricity Board). She was instrumental in the reform story of the power sector in Gujarat. Here is what the Modi administration did:
Before one goes into the statistics, it is important to remember that the Rann of Kutch, the largest salt-desert in the world, is in Gujarat. I don’t know about what you think, but I don’t exactly expect a state with such a large desert to produce crops and top the country in agricultural growth. Here is what the statistics say- The average agricultural growth in the decade of 2001-2011 was 11.2% p.a., up drastically from 3.3% p.a. in the 1990s. [Reference: Planning Commission]. Compare this to India’s agricultural growth during the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007) -> 2.13% p.a. and in the 11thFive Year Plan (2007-2012) -> 3.44%. [Reference: Planning Commission].
It is a no-brainer that the lifeblood of agriculture is water. Gujarat isn’t exactly Cherrapunji and consists mainly of arid and semi-arid regions. [Reference:Department of Agriculture, Govt. of India]. Some economists have classified 70% of the area of Gujarat under the arid and semi-arid categories. How did Gujarat manage to achieve such growth rates despite having barren, arid land and the biggest salt-desert in the world? Here is what the administration did to achieve this:
4) Built up massive amounts of basic infrastructure- If there is one area where India is light years away from where it should be, it is infrastructure development. Whether it is roads, airports, ports or even internet connectivity, India lags far behind any developed country and now even developing countries. Gujarat is different, though. Here is why:
Yes, such roads do exist in India (Gujarat)
Modi: General Motors, Ford, Tata Motors, Peugeot and more