The coastal state of Goa will go to the polls on 14 February for its 40 member Legislative Assembly. The state has the highest per capita income in the country, with its economy depending mainly on tourism.
This is the second consecutive term of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state. The Indian National Congress (INC), which has been the principal challenger along with the BJP, will be contesting the polls to unseat the incumbent Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.
This time around, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) are also in the fray.
All parties, including the BJP, have made a slew of promises. From the economy to mining regulations and housing for all, but let's first take a look at how the current dispensation has performed in Goa on the following indicators:
Ease of doing business
10 Years on, How Was The Economy of the State Been Under BJP2.0?
Under the BJP 2.0, the state's economy has grown faster when compared to their first tenure, even after suffering a major dip in FY20.
While the year-on-year growth in the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at constant price increased at an average rate of 5.17 percent between 2012-2017 (FY13-FY17), it reduced to 6.66 percent between 2017-2021 (FY18-FY21), according to the data available on the website of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
It is important to note that while the economy of several other states suffered in 2020-2021 (FY21) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it surged in Goa. The GSDP grew from Rs 53,09,957 lakh in FY20 to Rs 64,98,194 lakh, a jump of 22.38 percecnt.
Since FY12, the state's economy has not followed a continuous rise. The economy plummetted by 15.38 percent in FY13 and increased in FY15 by 27.08 percent.
Although the state has the highest per capita income in the country, the overall growth in per capita income has been negligible.
The per capita income in FY17 (2016-2017) was Rs 3,05,875, and the same in FY20 was Rs 3,03,687, after seeing a 9 percent rise in FY19 followed by a drop of 9 percent in FY20 (2019-2020) .
The per capita income for FY21 was not available.
Just like the economy, the per capita income in the state has also gone through ups and downs since 2012.
It is, however, important to note that the per capita income in the state has been significantly higher than the national per capita income.
While the per capita income of an average Indian was Rs 94,566 in FY20, the same in Goa was Rs 3,03,687. Although, unlike Goa, India's per capita has been on an upwards trajectory since 2012 until 2020 before taking a fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Was the Government Able to Provide Jobs?
The monthly data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), an independent think tank documenting unemployment in India, shows that unemployment in the state has increased in large parts in the past five years.
The unemployment rate in the state was 8.6 percent in March 2017, and it increased to 24.7 percent in November 2019 despite seeing falls to about 2 percent.
Unemployment in Goa has not been uniformly divided in rural and urban areas. Between January and April 2017, the state had 79,000 unemployed people, of which 56,000 were in urban areas. Of the total unemployed people, 64,000 were women, which shows a significant disparity in job opportunities.
The number of unemployed people decreased to 63,000 in the latest quarterly report published by CMIE between September to December 2021.
Further, the labour force participation rate (LPR) for September-December 2021 stood at 36.79 percent.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of cases reported under different crime heads (Indian Penal Code) in Goa under the current BJP government fell from 2017 to 2019, before seeing a 37.65 percent rise in 2020.
The number of cases reported in 2016 was 2,692, which increased to 3,393 in 2020.
Crimes against women have followed a downwards trajectory since 2015 and continued the same pattern during this tenure. The number of reported crimes against women has almost reduced by almost half from 392 in 2015 to 219 in 2020.
The state has also been in the news for crimes committed against foreigners in the past.
This is because the state has many foreign tourists visiting its beaches every year. However, the number of crimes against foreigners has also reduced sharply from 34 in 2018 to 11 in 2020.
Health: Infant Mortality, Fertility Rate
When it comes to Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) — defined as the number of deaths per thousand live births under one — the rate has decreased from 12.9 in the National Family Health Survey 4 (2015-2016) to 5.6 in NFHS-5 survey.
Goa's IMR is also significantly better than the national average IMR, which was 40.7 according to the NFHS-4 survey, and reduced to 35.2 in the NFHS-5 survey.
Ease of Doing Business
While the tourism industry employs 40 percent of the state's population, Goa's "Ease of Doing Business" – an indicator of the investment-friendly business climate – fell from 19 in 2017 to 24 in 2019.
The state's EoDB ranking saw a similar pattern during 2012-2017 when it went from 19 in 2015 to 21 in 2016, according to the Ease of Doing Business Report, published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The World Bank's Ease of Doing business report for countries has discontinued in 2021. As per the last available data, India was ranked 63 among 190 countries in 2019, after improving 14 spots since 2018.