The study titled "An Appraisal of Finances of States," released by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has also been submitted to the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission of India today.
While "forward" states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana have consistently performed above 10% growth in nominal GDP, the ASSOCHAM paper has highlighted the consistent rise of the normally considered laggards like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan.
While releasing the paper Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said, "One strong indication is of across-the-board support for a liberal approach to investment and recognition of its importance despite the political differences of the parties in power in the rising states and that at the centre is the states leadership going out of the way to invite private investment from all quarters within the country".
The underperforming states like West Bengal over the same period have to search for their shortcomings despite their favourable geographical positioning, natural resources, historical exposure to industrialization and elevated levels of literacy among the population. State like Andhra Pradesh have in the first three years of the seven year period grown well above national average and then went down, reveals the ASSOCHAM study.
The positive indicators in the state budgets are reduction in states deficits and improvement in revenues both locally generated and devolution from the Centre. The RBI study forecasts that 2012-13 onwards the "consolidated revenue surplus is budgeted to increase in revenue receipts coupled with a reduction in revenue expenditure", highlights the paper.
While the RBI study says that revenue surplus would "enable a reduction in the GFD-GDP ratio" and that 26 of the 28 states met the ratio set by the thirteenth finance commission, ASSOCHAM believes that the tendency would be for these surpluses to be squandered in popularity contests.
The whole process of development essentially based on states maintaining sound fiscal health. Over the past two decades, in the wake of widespread fiscal deterioration, states have attempted to phase out fiscal imbalances and improve revenue productivity and efficiency. By and large, fiscal imbalances have been reducing across states owing to the enactment of FRBM Act, mentioned the paper.