Dismissing allegations that the economy was in dire straits and the bullish behaviour of stock markets was due to Modi effect, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday gave statistics to prove India’s economy is well on path of recovery and that the much touted Gujarat model of development is nothing but a “boastful” claim.
According to official statistics which the finance minister cited, Gujarat ranked fifth in the country in terms of annual growth rate, while on poverty headcount ratio (for the year 201-12), it ranked 14th.
Gujarat’s infant mortality rate was 9th in the country and literacy rate was 12th. The data also punctured the the claims of BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi that Gujarat received electricity 24x7.
According to the statistics, the state was behind nine better performing states in the country in terms of number of households with electricity in the country.
Chidambaram did not support claims that the equity market hitting a new high everyday was due to Modi effect.
“Instead it is because of the stable policies of the government,” he said.
Indian equities, which hit new highs day after day in the past couple of months mainly on the back of improved CAD and easing inflation, edged lower on last Friday amid weak global cues.
While Sensex fell 188 points, the biggest single day fall in more than a week, the rupee breached 61 mark against the Dollar, touching its lowest level since March 21.
Growth in India’s economy may have halved to below five per cent in the past two years, but Chidambaram has received accolades from investor community in India and abroad for achieving his committed targets on current account and fiscal deficit fronts, the much watched economic barometer.
"In the last 20 months my job has been to attack the problem. We have attacked the problem of fiscal deficit. We have attacked the problem of CAD. Both have been contained," the finance minister said.
The Finance Minister also sought to know how Modi was claiming that his party will implement the much awaited indirect taxes reform and GST if it comes to power when he and chief ministers of his own party were among those creating obstacles.