CHANDIGARH, January 23: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today exploded the myth of 8.8 per cent growth rate in Punjab as claimed by the Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Badal with comprehensive details corroborated with facts and figures.
In a statement issued here today, Capt Amarinder Singh disclosed that the growth figures claimed by the DyCM were due to change in base years from 1999-2000 to 2004-2005 by the Central Statistical Organization to 2008-09 in case of Punjab. He pointed out, if the base year is also changed for Haryana its growth rate will cross 35 per cent. He remarked, “before telling me to know my economics, Sukhbir should better know his statistics”.
The PCC President observed, “in fact, it is no more than a statistical smoke-screen created by the government to hide its own comprehensive failure on all fronts during the last four years”. He said, this is a total fraud with the people of Punjab.
Analysing the figures, the former Chief Minister disclosed that Punjab’s new growth rate of 8.80 % for 2009-10 and 8.40 for 2008-09 has been derived blindly by applying the price level of 2004-05, the new base year, to the old growth data. “In fact by using the price base of 2009-10 one could even arrive at a growth rate of 19%, which would only be notional and not real growth”, he pointed out.
He said, the comparison with the national growth rate and growth rate of Haryana and freshly arrived rate of growth of Punjab is between the incomparables, because of their use of different base years 1999-2000 for India and 2004-05 for Haryana, while 2008-09 for Punjab.
Capt Amarinder Sing observed, “the attempt has been made to create a mirage of higher growth rate, while it is nothing but a pass-through of inflation between the old base year and the new base year”.
He said, “the growth rate, without having regard to price levels, inflation and base year effect means sweet nothing”. That is why, he added, this contrived growth rate does not at all sync with ground realities. “How can you think of an industrial growth rate of 17.9 % with industry suffering a power cut between 12 hours a day to 3 days a week?” he asked.
The PCC President said, it is improbable that the Central Statistical Organisation has compiled the income series based on the new base year and has released the same. “It is a little premature to celebrate” he remarked.
Capt Amarinder Singh said, even with this statistical trick agriculture and services sector that together contribute 70 per cent to the state’s income, grew below the national average. “Whatever growth in agriculture sector has been seen is largely due to the increase in the Minimum Support Price which saw substantial rise during the Congress led United Progressive Alliance government at the centre”, he pointed out.