National

Has AIADMK regime been better than DMK?

Muthukumar K BL Research Bureau | Updated on January 20, 2018

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With the 2016 Tamil Nadu elections witnessing high-decibel campaigning by political parties, the voters are missing the hard facts. Did the AIADMK actually clock better economic growth rates than the DMK? Or were crime rates actually lower during the DMK regime, as has been claimed? BL Research Bureau clears the air by letting the numbers do the talking.

Growth rates

The Tamil Nadu economy has grown at a faster clip during the DMK rule than under the AIADMK regime. In the last five years (2011-2016), the State’s economy grew at an average rate of 6.5 per cent, as against 10.1 per cent managed by the DMK during its five-year regime (2006-2011).

However, absolute comparisons of the growth rates might not strictly be the way to compare the performance of the two governments. A better tool would be to compare the extent to which the State’s figures managed to outperform the national numbers. And this is where the DMK scores over the AIADMK. The M Karunanidhi-led party has managed an economic growth that is 1.2 times the national economic growth rates, as against just 1.05 times by the ruling AIADMK.

Employment generation

While data on jobs come with a lag, it seems the AIADMK government capitalised on its greater absorptive capacity from the Central government-sponsored schemes.

For instance, Tamil Nadu has been the largest beneficiary of the MGNREG scheme. Since 2011-12, works worth ₹20,742 crore have been taken up, which is the highest in the country.

Also, about 85 per cent of the jobs generated went to women.

Fiscal show

As regards fiscal management, the performance of both governments was bad – thanks in part to freebies and subsidies. Fiscal deficit-to-GDP ratio during the DMK regime was 2.7 per cent as against 2.6 per cent during the AIADMK regime. While it was under the prudential limit of 3 per cent, it is disconcerting to know that these figures were higher than the average of all the States put together – for both governments. On an average, the revenue deficit situation was 0.1 per cent of GDP under both the DMK and the AIADMK regimes.

Social development

While there is insufficient data to compare social development during the DMK and the AIADMK regimes, anecdotal evidence suggests better numbers for the AIADMK. The AIADMK government increased expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP as compared to the DMK dispensation. While it averaged 0.9 per cent of GDP under the DMK rule, it was 1.4 per cent during the AIADMK regime.

On the education front, things appear to be getting better in secondary education. Ever since the AIADMK took over, the pass percentage of students in classes 10 and 12 have improved.

Fall in crime

While the DMK has been slamming the AIADMK for deteriorating law and order, crime data reveal otherwise. In Tamil Nadu, crime as measured by the rate of cognizable crime fell from 295 per lakh of population, to 281. This is against the backdrop of a surge in crime rates at the national level.

Also, the rate of crime against women in Tamil Nadu has fallen from 22 per lakh of population in 2013 to 18. The national figure is roughly three times that of the Tamil Nadu government.

Published on May 12, 2016

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