Remarkable turn around in Punjab economy PunjabNewsline.com - Remarkable turn around in Punjab economy CHANDIGARH: The overall economy and fiscal health of Punjab showed a major upswing during the past three years, registering both recovery and resilience on all financial and growth parameters. The state defied nationwide recessionary trends and growth slide down to emerge as one of the fastest growing economies among states. For the first time in decades, Punjab surpassed national average of growth in key areas of development and fiscal recovery, putting at rest all speculation that the state’s fiancés were a cause for worry. This is borne out by the concrete data on growth, fiscal and revenue deficit management as well as revenue receipts and debt to GSDP ration percentages. Contrary to popular belief, the states’ industry and agriculture also registered impressive growth rate, paving the way for major economic expansion and growth in the years to come. The state jumped from the 24th position to be among the top three in the country in rate of growth in VAT receipts. As against just 4.37 per cent in 2006-07, the rate of growth jumped to 20.46 % for 2008-09. The budgetary projections show that the figure was all set to go up to 28% during the next fiscal, a jump of nearly 700% since the SAD BJP government took over. Similarly, plan implementation by the state reveals a a dream like success story. The five year figure for plan implementation during the Congress regime was 14, 823 crore. This figure has already been exceeded in just three years for which the figure stood at 15,379 crore. These figures significant relate to plan implementation and not just plan size. Despite drought, recession, low MSP and unexpected hike in agricultural inputs, the state registered a growth rate of 3.42% which is more than double the national growth rate ( 1.8%) for the same period,. This figure is projected to reach 3.74% in the year 2009-10 as against the national growth rate of just 1.00 percent during the same period. Despite the severe handicap of package of concessions to neighboring states, industry in Punjab grew at 8.00 percent which is exactly double of the national growth rate of just 4.00 per cent. Clearly, Punjab has beaten back the global and national recessionary trends. Industry is set to grow at 8.11% during the coming fiscal. The state’s industrial growth during the Congress regime, despite tall claims of mega projects, was below the national average by 1.65%. This time around, the same ration is 4% in favour of Punajb as against the national average. Punjab also reduced the gap between the national rate of growth of economy and that of the state from minus 2.7% during the previous Congress regime ending 2007, to just minus 0.5 percent at present. The economy grew at just 5.1% during the Amarinder regime where in the first three years of the SAD BJP government, the economy of the state achieved a healthy growth rate of 6.7 percent. Here also, the state closed down the gap between the national average from minus 2.7% to just minus 0.3 %. The state government also turned the corner in the matter or revenue receipts including state taxes, jumping form a meager 031% during the Amarinder regime to an incredible 12.4% in the first three years alone. And this figure is like to go astronomically up to touch 24% at the end of 2009-10 fiscal, increase by an unbelievable 72 times. The state was also able to substantially reduce its fiscal deficit from 4.22% in 2007 to 4.03 % pr cent and the revised estimates show the figure would go further down to just 3.41% in the 2009-10 fiscal. Similarly, revenue deficit as percentage of GSDP, which stood at 4.1% during the fiscal 2007-8 has been brought down to 2.1 %, and is likely go down even further during the nest fiscal year. Another important parameter concerning the ratio of debt to Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) also showed a major improvement. This ratio stood at 39.89 percent at the end of the Congress regime in 2007. It has now been brought down to 34.85% and is likely to go down further to 33.75 % in the next fiscal.