Hyderabad: Telangana State, just seven years in existence, dug in, held its ground and came up trumps even as the Covid crisis engulfed the country in the first wave of the pandemic.
Not only has Telangana’s GSDP share in national GDP at current prices jumped to an impressive 5 per cent in 2020-21, it also recorded a 1.5 per cent growth in GSDP when contraction of economies is the most widely discussed topic in these troubled times, besides putting the brakes on unemployment rate.
These facts come from authentic data released by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI) in its reports. According to the MoSPI, Telangana’s GSDP share of national GDP at current prices increased significantly from 4.1 per cent in 2014-15 to 4.4 per cent in 2017-18 and is placed at 5 per cent in 2020-21 despite the adverse impact of the pandemic. At constant prices, the State GSDP growth has been higher than that of the national GDP since 2015-16.
While the State GSDP grew by 11.6 per cent in 2015-16, it decreased to 7.9 per cent in 2019-20 and contracted to 1.26 per cent in 2020-21 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the national GDP, which grew by 8 per cent in 2015-16, decreased to 4 per cent in 2019-20 and fell sharply to minus 8 per cent in 2020-21.
The increased GSDP can be attributed to the State’s performance in the primary sector, comprising agriculture, dairy and poultry among others, which recorded a growth of 17.7 per cent in 2020-21. The secondary and services sectors contracted to 5.2 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. “The agriculture sector grew by an impressive 20.9 per cent in 2020-21, cushioning the impact of Covid-19. This was due to measures taken by the State government to stimulate the rural economy. Although industrial and services growth contracted, the contraction was less severe than at the national level,” Finance Department officials told ‘Telangana Today’.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy is estimated to have contracted by 4.4 per cent in 2020 (compared to 2019). The second advance estimates released by the MoSPI reveal that the national economic output, measured by GDP, will shrink by 8 per cent at current prices in 2020-21. However, Telangana’s GSDP grew by 1.35 per cent at current (2020-21 base) prices.
The pandemic also saw a steep rise in unemployment rate and fall in business activity across the country, leading to a sharp contraction of the economy during the lockdown period.
Telangana was no exception, but the State’s economy displayed far more resilience than the rest of the country. The government moves obviously resulted in better insulation of its citizens against the impact of the pandemic.
Unemployment was prevalent across India during the lockdown with the national unemployment rate shooting up from 7.8 per cent in February last to 9.1 per cent in December. According to a report of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), Telangana had put up a better performance. The unemployment rate, which was 8.3 per cent in the State in February last, dropped to 7 per cent in December last. Though the unemployment in India peaked at 23.5 per cent in April and 21.7 per cent in May during the lockdown, the increase in unemployment rate was delayed in Telangana and the peak was much lower at 14.7 per cent.