Journalist | Writer | Analyst
Via Ruchira Gupta, Salil Tripathi in Mint exposes the hollow reality behind the impressive investment figures Narendra Modi has been touting as his big achievement in Gujarat. The key point — Modi’s massacres were bad for investment:
You might think that Gujarat is outracing and outpacing India, and Modi is singularly responsible for the boom. In fact, according to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, Gujarat commanded a huge lead over other states: In September 1995, the state’s share was 14.45% of all projects under implementation in the country. At 9.43%, its nearest rival, Maharashtra, was a poor second. Maharashtra overtook Gujarat, but in December 2001 its lead over Gujarat was less than a percentage point.
Then something happened, and by September 2002, Gujarat’s share fell to 8.78%; three years later, it was down to 7.67%, with Orissa ahead of Gujarat, and Karnataka close behind. Since then, Gujarat has recovered, but only slowly, and today commands 9.57% of investments in India. It is behind Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Maharashtra is only half a per cent behind, and Haryana, West Bengal and Karnataka are trying to catch up.
That “something” is the post-Godhra violence. From 2002, smart money began investing elsewhere. It has since started returning, but despite Modi’s administrative skills, his state no longer leads the inward investment tables.
So seven years on, Modi has recovered some ground. And for that, he should be made Prime Minister, Mr. Mittal?
Incidentally, I think another angle that needs probing is Mr. Modi’s attitude towards trades unions. I’ve heard anecdotes which suggest that’s why corporate types love him.