New Delhi: It’s official now. Punjab is the most prosperous state in India even though as a wag suggested, half of its population is, any time of the day, willing to move to Canada Maharashtra may boast the highest per capita income, but it’s Punjab that has all the goodies. In terms of equity, Kerala pips Punjab to the top slot, while Andhra Pradesh has the highest levels of disparity, says a new study that ranks states based on pattern of ownership of consumer durables.
These and other facts are said to be contained in a research project by Crisil, exclusively reported by the Times of India.
Crisil has developed indices of prosperity and equity (the agency terms it ‘equality index) based on the pattern of ownership of consumer durables across various regions in a state, using the 2011 census data. Neither do they account for inter-state differences in ownership of financial or other assets, such as land, nor do they capture differences in education levels across states , which is an important indicator of future income and future standard of living.
The findings show that Punjab has the highest proportion of households with all durables, including a computer (10 in every 100) and the lowest proportion of households with no durable asset, not even a mobile or a bicycle (just over 4%). The agency attributed this to the success of agriculture in the state, along with high minimum support price and public procurement of grains.
Number two is Kerala, where high level of remittance, along with healthy farm and tourism sectors, has brought about prosperity. It is followed by Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, indicating that high rates of growth have brought about prosperity measured in terms of ownership of cars and two-wheelers, mobile phones and computers.
Crisil has classified Narendra Modi-led Gujarat in the top bracket of three states with high prosperity and high equality among the high-growth states (Kerala and Punjab being the others). While Kerala and Punjab also have the least disparity – measured by asset ownership between their capital cities and the rest of the state – Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand, which have low levels of prosperity, rank high as most households, equally, do not own assets. The analysis shows that gauging states merely on the basis of ownership of consumer durables may not be the best way to measure equity.
Among cities, Gurgaon is the most prosperous, with one in five households owning an asset, while Chennai tops the list among state capitals, followed by Hyderabad and Bangalore. Patna and Raipur put up the worst show. In southern states, barring Kerala, the capital cities seemed completely cut off from the rest of the state: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka fared badly on Crisil’s equality index.
Maharashtra has the highest level of real income per person among major Indian states. But the penetration of household ownership of durable assets in the state is lower than six others.