Statistics can often be misleading. The oft-repeated catchphrase of the previous Congress regime in Haryana - that the state has highest per capita income (PCI) countrywide - is one such example.
The white paper on state finances released on Monday by the first BJP government in Haryana indicates that the jump in Haryana PCI figures was primarily due to the districts of Gurgaon having a PCI of `4.46 lakh, Panipat (`1.64 lakh), Faridabad (`1.63 lakh), Panchkula (`1.15 lakh), Rewari (11.18 lakh) and Ambala (`1.16 lakh) in 2011-12 financial year. The average state PCI was `1.06 lakh in 2011-12.
Elaborating on the regional disparities in per capita income, finance minister Capt Abhimanyu said that in 2004-05, the ratio of per capita income between the richest and the poorest districts was 3.7 which has jumped to 9.7 in 2011-12. “The districts showing a PCI above the state average are showing a clear regional concentration and districts falling in other parts of the state are clearly trailing in terms of relative PCI. This is a worrying trend and needs to be addressed,” he said.
For example, Mewat had the lowest PCI (`45,934), followed by Mahendergarh (`54,835), Palwal (`65,009), Bhiwani (`67,050) and Jind (`68,763) in 2011-12 financial year.
Capt Abhimanyu said that had all-round development been undertaken by the Congress regime in the last decade, there would not have been such a big difference in the district-wise PCI. He said the per capita income was high in six districts whereas it was very low in eight districts.
The finance minister said there was a need to do away with the discrimination made in the distribution of resources of the state during the last 10 years and change the pattern of resource allocation. “Also, there was a need to do away with regional discrimination in development by increasing public expenditure on basic infrastructure and efficiency,” he said.
WHAT IS PCI?
Per capita income (PCI) is defined as the income per person in monetary terms. It is the net state domestic product at current prices divided by the population of the state.
The PCI for Haryana has remained higher than the nationwide per capita income from 2004-05 to 2013-14. In 2013-14, Haryana’s PCI was about `1.33 lakh while the nationwide average was about `74,000. What, however, is important is that the growth in Haryana PCI has been fluctuating as compared to the growth in national per capita income.
According to the white paper, the growth rate in per capita income of Haryana during 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2010-11 remained below the national growth rates.
Thus, the unstable characteristics of Haryana’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) growth in the last decade are also reflected in the growth of the state’s per capita income.