West Bengal vs. Gujarat

Difference Between West Bengal and Gujarat

The recent remarks of Singh Manmonah, the Prime Minister of West Bengal’s state affairs, and L.K. Advani, a senior BJP leader turned the people’s attention on West Bengal. According to Advani, West Bengal can be compared to Gujarat, stating that while West Bengal still suffers from its 34-year Marxist rule, Gujarat has pulled ahead and had become the country’s most developed state. Here, we will try to see if there is any truth in this claim.

Gujarat

Gujarat, India’s western most state, has a large 1,600 km coastline, an approximately 200,000 square kilometer area and a population of more than 50 million. Gujarat’s capital, Gandhinagar, is home to a majority of Gujarati speaking people. The state, known for their milk, dates, cotton, sugar, petrol and cement, has some of India’s largest businesses. When we talk about rapid industrialization, Gujarat certainly is among the top, having transformed so quickly in the past few years. Contributing over 22 percent of India’s total exports, the state represents a very important part in the country’s economy. Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries in setting up the world’s biggest oil refinery in Gujarat. The world’s biggest ship breaking yard in the country is also in Gujarat, including two of the mere three natural gas terminals in India.

One of the state’s amazing features is the fact that all of its villages are connected through asphalt roads, and all are also conveniently electrified. It is India’s only state that possesses gas grids statewide. It also ranks second in nuclear power regeneration throughout the country and is second to none when it comes to thermal electricity from gas. Gujarat also holds the second spot in the whole world when in terms of wide area internet networks with its 50000 km OFC network and broadband internet, which is available in all villages. Of the top 500 companies in India, 20 percent have offices located in Gujarat and 26 percent of India’s total bank finance, according to an RBI estimate, also in the state.

West Bengal

 

The eastern state West Bengal, on the contrary, is known as the 4th most populated state in India.  It’s bordered by Bangladesh in the east, and Bihar and Jharkhand on the west. Although it’s not as developed compared to Gujarat, it does hold the title of India’s 6th largest GDP contributor. Traditionally, West Bengal was ruled by the Marxists who remained in power since the previous 34 years. When Bangladesh came into existence east of West Bengal, its economy was inevitably drained by the sudden influx of illegal immigrants who arrived by the millions. This situation only changed when the government posted the liberalization policies in the later in 1990. Indeed, the state made significant economic advancements these past ten years, but the fact remains that it’s still one of the country’s poorest states. Strikes and protests are more common in the state than economic improvements leading to the worsening in its levels of poverty. Poor infrastructure, violence ridden politics and rampant corruption continue to plague the state.

Bottom line is, if you’re planning on starting a business or making investments, Gujarat is obviously the better choice between the two states. Its economy had undoubtedly taken enormous strides and is one of the most developed of all the states in India. West Bengal, however, continues to wallow in poverty due to poor infrastructure, violence and corruption.