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Brijesh Kalappa
Monday , November 28, 2011 at 19 : 23

No Congress, no growth in UP


A couple of years ago, an aged gentleman during a stray conversation on a train, said with great conviction that the States of India in which the Congress Party is irrelevant were in an abysmal condition as compared to States in which the Indian National Congress was still a fighting force. He gave the examples of UP and Bihar to illustrate his point.

The recent statement made by Rahul Gandhi that people from Uttar Pradesh are forced to go and beg outside the state has raised a storm, he further said "It is not the leaders but the common man who will enable the Congress to form its government this time. We will make UP stand on its legs within 5 years and I am sure in 10 years it would one of the most developed state of the country"

Statistics indicate that 65 percent of the Indian population depends on agriculture, 60 percent of our overall workforce works on the farms, that is about 700 million people including children, but this large segment of our population only shares about 18 percent of the Country's GDP. While 22 to 23 percent comes from industry, nearly 56 to 57 percent comes from the service sector. The average landholding in the country is 2.3 acres per family. It is impossible for a farming family with a land holding of 2.3 acres to become rich and prosperous. It is therefore imperative for development in a State to be pushed by the tertiary sector of providing services.

In 1991, a paradigm shift in economic policy was brought, the results were there for all to see by 1995, the annual growth rate of the economy increased to 5.7 percent between 1995 and 2000 and the economy grew by 6.9 per cent annually between 2000 and 2006. Annual economic growth has shot up to 8.6 percent in the fiscal ending March 2007. Similarly India's share in international trade in goods nearly doubled from 0.6 percent in 1980 to 1.1 percent in 2005. Our foreign exchange reserves have also increased exponentially from under a billion dollars to a mind boggling 225 billion dollars. Between the years 1999 and 2004-2005 more jobs were created that in any other five year plan period.

As per the population census 2001, UP, with its 16.605 crore strong population, is the most populous state in the country of 102.70 crore population. It accounts for 16.17 per cent of India's population of over 1 billion, fourth in terms of density over West Bengal, Bihar and Kerala. The population density of the state has increased from 548 people per square kilometre in 1191 to 696 people per square kilometre in 2001.

The Planning Commission records that "Undivided UP attained respectable growth in Gross State Domestic Product only during the period of 1986-87 to 1990-91 with respect to the all-India performance." The Congress Party was voted out of power in the State in 1989, ever since, it has a very minor presence in Uttar Pradesh.

Jeffrey Sachs, in his book "The end of poverty" says the following ""Throughout the Ganges valley of Northern India, home to two hundred million Indians living in the vast plains of India's greatest river, the IT revolution has been slow to emerge."

During the post-reform period of 1993-94 to 2000-01, the real Gross State Domestic Product at factor cost (1993-94 prices) in divided UP had an average annual growth of 4.22 per cent as against an all-India figure of 6.3 per cent. During the period of 2001-02 to 2002-03, the average annual growth has been just about 2.24 per cent as against all-India average of 4.88 per cent. While real GSDP was slowing down, the population growth rate was among the highest in the country. The decadal growth in population between 1991 census and 2001 census for UP was recorded at 25.8 per cent as against an all-India figure of 21.8 per cent. The difference in per capita real income between UP and India, as a percentage of the all-India average, has grown from about 17.2 per cent in 1980-81 to almost 47.7 per cent in 2002-03. The divergence has rapidly increased during the second half of the 1990s. The Planning Commission thus records that "Thus, despite rich potential in human and natural resources, UP, which was once positioned to be the pace-setter for India's economic and social development, now shows far less promise." After reforms, the growth at all-India level appears to be stabilised while UP remains volatile owing to its over-dependence on agriculture.

The share of real activity in undivided UP as a proportion of GSDP shrunk from a respectable 13.8 per cent in 1980-81 to 10.55 in 1999-2001. However, after division of Uttaranchal, the share fell further from 9.22 per cent in 1999-2001 to 8.48 per cent in 2002-03. This, according to the Planning Commission means 2 things: "first, growth in UP has been below average, second, other states are now doing much better than average. The most dramatic downtrend has been in the service (tertiary) sector; agriculture presents the brightest picture. However, agriculture is holding its ground with difficulty."

At the national level, the share of industry and services has gone up to 27.34 per cent and 51.17 per cent respectively in 2002-03. In UP however, the corresponding numbers are 25.64 per cent and 41.99 per cent. This means that, at the national level, the dominance on Agriculture has reduced significantly compared to UP.

In terms of average growth, UP has performed reasonably well in certain sectors organised manufacturing, communication, construction, banking and primary sectors. But, it has lagged in vital segments of infrastructure like power, water supply and railways. Similarly, growth in real estate, trade, hotels and restaurants and unorganised manufacturing has also suffered. While India has established leadership positions in the world in sectors such as software, steel, automobiles, refining, textiles and leather. The country's most populous State contributes negligibly to this lead.

Planning Commission statistics indicate that people from UP migrate in large numbers to other states. According to the 1991 census, almost 1.4 per cent of UP's population migrated to other states over the preceding decade. In contrast, the migrant inflow to UP as a proportion was 0.3 per cent in the same period. In 2001, 41 per cent of total migrants within India were from UP. Interestingly, 32 per cent of those migrants from UP migrated to Maharashtra.


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More about Brijesh Kalappa

Brijesh Kalappa, an advocate in the Supreme Court, is the Additional Advocate General, Haryana. A former journalist, he has a wide range of interests including reading and travelling. He has worked with several legal luminaries on subjects of importance in civil, criminal, water and electoral laws and has individually represented governments, eminent individuals and major industrial houses. Gifted with the prowess for distinctive sharp-edged analysis, he has been working closely with several leaders of the Indian National Congress.