Growth rate lower than Bangladesh is BJP’s achievement: Harish Rao

Hyderabad, Aug 23 (IANS) Telangana Finance Minister T. Harish Rao on Monday slammed the BJP, saying during its rule, India’s economic growth has slumped to lower than Bangladesh.

Hitting back at Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy and other BJP leaders for targeting the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, he said India was lagging behind the neighbouring country in growth rate and per capita income.

“The Union Minister and other BJP leaders are making tall claims but the fact is that India’s growth rate has slumped to be lower than Bangladesh. This is your achievement,” Harish Rao said while addressing a news conference.

Citing World Bank figures, he said during 2019-20, Bangladesh’s growth rate was 8.1 per cent while India’s growth rate was mere 2.5 per cent.

He said India was also lagging in per capita income.

Making a power point presentation on Telangana’s growth during last six years, he said the state had emerged as a role model for other states and its growth rate was higher than the national average.

He pointed out that Telangana’s GSDP at current prices in 2020-21 was Rs 9,80,407 crore, an increase of 94 per cent from its 2014-15 value. Telangana achieved the third rank in the country in terms of the percentage increase in GSDP at current prices between 2014-15 and 2020-21.

He said in 2020-21, Telangana was the sixth highest contributor to the country’s GDP at current prices. “Between 2014-15 and 2020-21, Telangana achieved the third highest Average Annual Growth Rate of GSDP at current prices in the country. Since the state’s formation, growth in Telangana has consistently outpaced growth in the rest of the country. On an average, Telangana grew by 3.7 percentage points more than India did for the period post state formation,” he said.

Harish Rao said that Telangana’s GSDP at current prices increased by 93.8 per cent between 2014-15 and 2020-21, as against India’s increase of 58.4 per cent in the same period, and contributed approximately 5 per cent to India’s GDP, an increase of 1 percentage point since the state’s formation.

He said Telangana achieved an 11.7 per cent Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) of GSDP at current prices from 2014-15 to 2020-21, compared to India’s 8.1 per cent during the same time span. On an average, Telangana grew by 3.7 percentage points more than India did for each of these years.

During Covid-19, while India experienced a negative rate of growth of GDP (-3 per cent) in 2020-21, Telangana’s growth rate was still positive (2.4 per cent), he said. In 2014-15 and 2015-16, despite experiencing drought conditions, Telangana achieved high rates of growth of GSDP, significantly better than that of the country as a whole.

In 2020-21, the per capita income, one of the strongest economic indicators of the well-being of a population, for Telangana (Rs 2,37,632) was 1.84 times that of the national PCI (Rs 1,28,829), he said, adding that the state ranked 3rd in this regard. Telangana surpassed 7 states in a span of 7 years, moving from 10th position to becoming the 3rd ranking state in terms of per capita income in 2020-21. Telangana achieved the highest average growth in per capita income amongst all Southern states, at 11.5 per cent, post 2014-15, he added.

“Telangana’s per capita income has doubled. What is Kishan Reddy’s reply to this,” he said while slamming the Union Minister for alleging that Telangana’s growth has suffered under the TRS.

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