Acche Din Report Card on Industrial Output

The elections are less than 2 weeks away.

We soon have to make probably the most important decision of our lives – who will lead us in 2019.

One of the key promises that was made to Indians in 2014 was that we would soon see “Acche Din.”

Although this was (conveniently) never defined, we do understand Hindi reasonably well, and so we know that Acche Din refers to a better quality of life.

To understand whether we have reached this goal, I have been analyzing objective economic data. I am going to share my findings with you in a series that will continue until the elections.

Some of this has been written up as an article in Frontline. This series should, therefore, be seen as a complement to the Frontline article.

Today, we start with industrial output. Modi was projected as a strong pro-business leader, given that he is a bania from Gujarat.

Given the Gujaratis’ legendary prowess in business, one would have expected, at a minimum, that “Acche Din” would result in a boom for the industry.

Let us, therefore, investigate this premise. Using data from the Reserve Bank of India, we can see what the industrial output for the Modi years has been. We compare it with the industrial output from the two UPA administrations and the NDA administration of Atal Behari Vajpayee. The annual increase in industrial output in percentage is plotted in the attached graph.

The four regimes are compared by showing their progress in Year 1, Year 2, and so on. For the Vajpayee era, Year 1 is 1999-2000, Year 2 is 2000-2001, and so on. For UPA II, Year 1 is 2004-05, Year 2 is 2005-06, and so on.

In addition to the graph, I am also showing the average figures for the full term. For Modi, the RBI only had data for 2014-15 and 2015-16, so that is all I can show for comparison. For the Modi years, I take the appropriate average taking into account the number of years for which data is available.

The average annual growth percentages for the four regimes are:
NDA: 5.6%;
UPA I: 13.7%;
UPA II: 7.6%;
Modi: -0.4%.

It is clear that industrial output slumped dramatically during the Modi Sarkar. This can be seen by looking at following chart:



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Dr. Seshadri Kumar Written by:

Seshadri Kumar is an R&D Chemical Engineer with a B.Tech from IIT Bombay and an M.S. and a PhD from the University of Utah, U.S. He writes regularly on political, social, economic, and cultural affairs at

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