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This is a flawed analysis in terms of economics as well as politics. Just one point for now. When you say poverty kept declining in spite of slow growth, you are mistaken. You are quoting data which was published in 2011-12. The NSS enumerators for the 2011-12 survey were on the field in 2011 or at most early 2012. Rural consumption and real wage growth may have been holding up till then (remember the growth collapse wasn't so bad in 2011-12- the steady sub 5% growth in every quarter was yet to come then) but rural real wages stagnated or fell in 2012-14 at a time when food inflation was in double digits quarter after quarter. So if low income people are experiencing a fall in their real income, is it surprising that they feel as frustrated as they do? The weak growth in nominal wages since 2012 (which resulted in zero or negative real wage growth given high inflation) is because of the growth slowdown, particularly a slowdown in the construction sector as a consequence of weaker growth. (the real estate/construction sector was a crucial source of rural non-farm employment). Thus the conventional wisdom that the UPA paid a heavy price for collapsing economic growth as well as high inflation is correct. Both these problems have their root in fiscal profligacy as well as what came to be known as "policy paralysis" of the government. For various reasons, total government expenditure as a percentage of GDP is not an adequate measure of the governments fiscal stance.

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16/07/2014 20:06:35

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