A tale of two states: A look at Gujarat and Himachal’s financial health as vote counting nears

By: | Published: December 14, 2017 12:02 PM

While the gross fiscal deficit (GFD) for Himachal Pradesh has decreased from 4% gross state domestic product (GSDP) in 2014-15 to 3.1% of GSDP in 2016-17, Gujarat’s GFD has surged to 2.2% of GSDP in 2016-17 from 2% of GSDP in 2014-15.

infrastructure sector investment, niif investment plan, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, sc garg on infrastructure fundingThe two states are reasonably placed at the national level when evaluated on the base of primary economic parameters. (Image: PTI)

In the last seven elections, Himachal has alternated between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, while Gujarat has mostly been a BJP embankment. At present, Himachal is being ruled by the Congress government and Gujarat has the BJP as the ruling party. The latest election results for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are due on December 18. The two states are reasonably placed at the national level when evaluated on the base of primary economic parameters. Based on these three indicators, The Indian Express has drafted a comparison of the two states analysing the official data for the last three years:

Gross Fiscal Deficit: While the gross fiscal deficit (GFD) for Himachal Pradesh has decreased from 4% gross state domestic product (GSDP) in 2014-15 to 3.1% of GSDP in 2016-17, Gujarat’s GFD has surged to 2.2% of GSDP in 2016-17 from 2% of GSDP in 2014-15.

Revenue Deficit: The revenue deficit (RD) for Himachal Pradesh 0.40% of GSDP in 2016-17 increasing from 0.20% of GSDP in 2015-16 and 0.19% of GSDP in 2014-15. For Gujarat, RD to GSDP was -0.6% in 2015-15 and in 2015-16.

Social Expenditure: Himachal Pradesh’s social expenditure rose from 37.5% of capital expenditure in 2014-15 to 40.7% in 2016-17. Gujarat’s social expenditure rose to 41.3% in 2016-17 to 40.5% of capital expenditure in 2014-15.

Elections in Himachal Pradesh

The election in Himachal on November 9 saw 19 women, six from the BJP and three from the Congress. Seven rebels each from the two parties also contested the polls. Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mansa Ram, who was elected for the first time in 1967 from Karsog, fought for the eleventh time. Webcasting was used in 2,307 polling stations for a live monitoring of polling activities. A total of 11,283 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units were used, of which 297 were replaced. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, 64.45 percent of the electorate had voted.

Elections in Gujarat

The first phase that comprised 89 constituencies in 19 districts went to polls on December 9.The second phase that is scheduled for December 14 includes 93 seats. The results will be declared on December 18.

Data source: Reserve Bank of India

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