- If you look at Bihar where he has spent his last few days running down the Nitish Kumar government, you sense a disconnect. Bihar’s GDP growth, it is true, was a low 4.72% in 2009-10, but this was on the back of a stupendous 16.59% the year before (the year in which India grew at 6.7%). Five years ago, Bihar’s GDP was Rs 65,995 crore (at 1999-00 prices) while Haryana’s was Rs 76,012 crore; in 2009-10, Bihar was Rs 1,09,420 crore versus Haryana’s 1,20,407 crore—that is, in the Nitish period, the erstwhile Bimaru state grew at a rate which was faster than that of Haryana. Ironically, Congress-ruled states like Andhra Pradesh have grown very poorly in the last few years. Even Uttar Pradesh, which the Gandhi heir would likely to classify as ‘bandh’ or ‘closed’, has grown faster in the last few years—at 7.21% in 2008-09, it grew faster than Maharashtra’s 3.39%, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu’s 4.55%; its 6.56% in 2009-10 was also higher than Tamil Nadu’s 5.53% and Karnataka’s 5.54%.
- When it comes to rural India as a whole, which is termed Bharat and generally seen to be a stagnant pool, it actually accounts for 40-50% of demand for scooters and motorcycles. NCAER-CMCR data show that in 1994-2005, India’s Net National Product rose 6.2% per annum—rural NNP rose 5% and urban 8.1%. In 2005-10, rural rose 6.9% and urban 10.2—so the differential fell. In 2010-15, while overall NNP growth is projected at 8.8%, rural is likely to grow 7% versus 10.5% for urban India. So how’s Bharat getting left behind?