The dominant theme in the pre-election discourse is that misrule by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in its second term has led to sharply lower growth of gross domestic product (GDP), which Narendra Modi will reverse, the way he has made Gujarat shine. But the evidence on hand does not support this correlation between the quality of national political leadership and growth performance. If anything, there is a close correlation between India's growth story and global economic conditions.
In the two five-year periods during 2004-2013 corresponding to UPA-I and UPA-II, India's average rank in GDP growth among BRIC countries, South Africa and Indonesia has remained the same. It has been mostly second to China in the first five years, and mostly third after China and Indonesia in the next five years. Indonesia did better in the latter period compared to the first, whereas India did better during the first (UPA-I) compared to the second (UPA-II) - in keeping with the global economy, which boomed till the 2008 global financial crisis and then crashed.
Text: Subir Roy, Business Standard
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