Amit Shah on UP's GDP, Jobs & Medical Colleges: Inaccurate & Lacking Context
UP has been among the top five states in terms of GDP at least since 2012
The Quint DAILY
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Ahead of the fourth phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh (UP), Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday, 21 February, spoke to Network18 Group's Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi on a host of issues, including the state of the economy, crime, and various government schemes.
While speaking about the economy, Shah emphasised on how the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has improved the Gross Domestic Product ranking of the state from eighth or ninth in the country during the previous governments to the second spot.
Shah also stated that the GDP figure stood at Rs 10,90,000 crore earlier and now it is at Rs 21,31,000 crore. Likewise, the unemployment rate was at 17.3 percent and now it is at 4.1 percent. The state's position for 'ease of doing business' has also improved from 14th position to the second.
The remarks can be heard around 4 minutes 43 seconds in this clip.
Shah spoke about various crime heads stating that the cases of dacoity, loot, kidnapping, and rape have come down in the last five years.
He also touched upon the state of education and said that while there were 12 medical colleges in the state before, now there are 40.
We analysed the home minister's statement and looked at the government data and public records to verify the claims he made.
Claim 1: UP's GDP Position
"In the 15 years of SP and BSP government, the state's economic position was at eighth or ninth position, and we got it to the second position."Amit Shah, Home Minister
FACT: As per the data published on the website of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), UP has been in the top five states at least since 2012.
HERE'S THE DATA
We looked at the data published in the Handbook of Statistics on Indian States on the RBI's website on 24 November 2021. This is compiled from the data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), which can be viewed here.
In the table, we looked at the state-wise data for Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at constant price (base year 2011-12) since 2011-12 (FY12) to 2020-21 (FY21).
We have considered the GDP figures (at constant prices) as they are adjusted for the effects of inflation and are considered an indicator to measure true growth of an economy.
The data shows that from 2011-12 to 2016-17, UP maintained its position at the third rank, coming just after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu each time.
From 2017-18 to 2019-20, we observed that Uttar Pradesh fell by one rank, maintaining its position at number 4 (after Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat) until 2019-20.
In the year 2020-21, UP stood at the third position, as per the available data. However, the data for this year is incomplete as the GSDP numbers for about 12 states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, are missing.
We even looked at the data prior to 2011-12 (with base year 2004-05) and found that UP was at the second position after Maharashtra from 2004-05 to 2009-10.
The same claim was earlier made by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and you can read a detailed fact-check here.
WHAT ABOUT DOUBLING THE GDP?
"UP’s GDP was Rs 10,90,000 crore, now it’s Rs 21,31,000 crore."Amit Shah, Home Minister
The government data for GSDP at constant price of UP in financial year 2017-18 was Rs 1,05,774,712 lakh or (10 lakh crore).
This increased to Rs 1,16,681,747 lakh (11,66,817 crore) in 2019-20 and fell down to Rs 1,09,262,381 lakh (10,92,623 crore) in the next financial year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The growth rate from 2017 to 2021 under the Adityanath government was close to 2 percent per annum. In contrast, the growth rate was a little over 6 percent from 2012 to 2017 under the former Samajwadi Party government.
We also looked at the GSDP for the state at current rate and found that in absolute terms, it grew from Rs 12,88,700 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 17,05,593 crore in 2020-21.
Claim 2: What About the Unemployment Rate?
"Unemployment was at 17.3 percent, now it’s at 4.1 percent."Amit Shah, Home Minister
While it is correct that the unemployment rate did touch 17 percent in August 2016, it decreased to 3.7 percent in January 2017 (before the BJP took charge).
This is according to monthly unemployment rates time series maintained by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think tank, which publishes monthly data bulletins on employment in India.
The same data shows unemployment rate rose to 21.5 percent in April 2020, during the first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UP saw the highest rise in unemployment in urban areas in 2018, according to the data compiled by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
The labour force participation (LFP) has reduced from 38.40 percent in January-April 2017 to 34.45 percent in September-December 2021.
Further, the employment rate was at 36.96 percent in January-April 2017 and it reduced to 32.78 percent in September-December 2021.
In an email exchange with The Quint, CMIE MD and CEO, Mahesh Vyas, explained that the employment rate and the LFP are important indicators.
"The employment rate and the labour force participation rate consider the complete working age population, while the unemployment rate is based only on the labour force. However, if the labour force itself is shrinking then the unemployment rate is less illuminating," Vyas added.
Claim 3: Crime Statistics
"After Yogi ji came into power, dacoity came down 72 percent. Loot came down 62 percent. Kidnapping came down 39 percent. Rape has come down 50 percent."Amit Shah, Home Minister
FACT: While the cases have decreased from 2016 to 2020, the percentages mentioned by the home minister are not in line with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. Further, it is important to note that this was the time when there was were restrictions and even a lockdown in the country because of the pandemic.
HERE'S THE DATA
As per the NCRB data, it's true that there has been a decrease in the cases of dacoity, kidnapping, and rape but the percentages mentioned by the home minister are not in line with the data available in the public domain.
In 2016, 4,816 cases of rape were reported in UP which went down to 2,769 cases (42 percent) in 2020. Similarly, the decrease in cases related to dacoity was 57 percent, while kidnapping and abduction cases came down by 18 percent.
Further, there was no category under the NCRB that said loot, but we looked at the robbery data and found that it showed a decline of 60 percent from 2017 to 2020, and a 63.7 percent drop when compared to 2016.
However, it must be noted that due to the pandemic, several other states have also reported a declining trend.
Claim 4: Number of Medical Colleges
"There were 12 medical colleges, now there are 40."Amit Shah, Home Minister
FACT: As per answers given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the Parliament, the claim that there were just 12 medical colleges in UP before 2017 doesn't hold.
HERE'S THE DATA
As per a response given by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 20 July 2018 in Lok Sabha, there were 48 medical colleges in UP. Another reply in February 2021 put the number of medical colleges at 57 in the state.
The ministry, on 12 February 2021, mentioned that 12 colleges were established in the state between 2018 and 2020. Of these, nine were government colleges and three were private.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated nine medical colleges in UP in October 2021, which would take the number up to 21.
Further, according to a Lok Sabha July 2018 document, there were 45 medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh as of AY (academic year) 2016-17.
So, the claim that there were just 12 medical colleges earlier doesn't seem to hold true based on the details given by the government in the Parliament.
We have written to the Home Minister's Office for a response and the story will be updated as and when we get one.
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