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Another feather in Modi's cap: Gujarat is the best state in economic freedom
According to the latest Economic Freedom of the States of India (EFSI) 2013 report, Gujarat is the top state in economic freedom. EFSI 2013 estimates the economic freedom in 20 biggest Indian states, using a methodology adapted from the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) annual reports. NaMo has played an important role in this regard.
According to the report, Gujarat has widened its lead at the top of the economic freedom table, with an index score of 0.65 (on a scale from 0 to 1.0). Gujarat, which was ranked 5th in the first report in 2005 with a score of 0.46, has been ranked at 1st position in the 2013 report with a score of 0.65. The report seeks to measure the level of economic freedom within vast, diverse India, and has, this year, highlighted the importance of state-level policy improvements and experimentation to produce better economic and social outcomes. 

The Economic Freedom Index is based on 3 parameters – Size of Government (expenditures, taxes and enterprises), Legal structure and security of property rights and Regulation of Labour and Business. Each state is scored and ranked on these three areas and then given an overall score and rank. 

Analyzing the aspect of size of Government, the report states, “Gujarat’s is a well-known success story through much of the 2000s.  Moreover, it has had major successes in agriculture, social welfare programmes and water resource management.  All of this is being achieved without an inordinate increase in the size of the government.” It may be noted that Shri Narendra Modi has served as the state’s Chief Minister for the entire period that is being mentioned by the author of the report. 

Gujarat has also witnessed significant improvement in its index values and retains its pre-eminent position in ‘Regulation of Labour and Business.’ The report states that Gujarat has consistently been the best state in this area. It has also recorded maximum improvement in index score since 2011.''

During the period 2005-11, Gujarat recorded an average growth rate of 12 per cent in GSDP at 2004-05 constant process, which is the highest in large states. However, the report also states that as many as seven states have suffered a decrease in their economic freedom ratings in 2013 compared to 2011.

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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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