Attending a campaign rally in Manipur on February 24, Home Minister Amit Shah heaped praises on incumbent Chief Minister N Biren Singh for leading the state down the path of law and order, peace and stability. The state will vote for its 60 member legislative assembly in two phases on February 28 and March 5. But while the Home Minister made tall claims about the change in the culture of ‘instability, insurgency and inequality’ that thrived under the previous Congress regime, just how much of his claims hold water? Newschecker looked at the various indicators in the state and this is what we found.
Manipur: Economy Shows Improvement
To understand how the economy of the state has performed under the N Biren Singh government, Newschecker looked at the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) figures of the state over the last five years, published by the RBI.
The GSDP data, which is available only till 2020, reveals an upward trend. While it grew 9.7% in 2017-2018 compared to the previous year, in 2018-19, it grew 2.9%. This figure went up to 7.1% in 2019-20.
We also looked at the per capita GSDP figures in the state, which revealed a similar trend, only falling slightly during 2020, the pandemic year. The per capita GSDP grew from 58,493 in 2017-18 to 60,132 in 2018-19. It further increased to 62,435 in 2019-20. But during the pandemic year, it showed a drop to 56,471.
The per capita GSDP figures however, are lesser than the national average. The per capita GSDP for India was 87,586 in 2017-18, which went up to 92,241 and 94,566 in 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively. This drops in the pandemic year to 86,659.
Unemployment rate decreases, LPR improves
Manipur is the only state among the five that are polling currently, that saw an improvement in the unemployment rate and the labour participation rate (LPR). While there is no CMIE data for the unemployment in Manipur, Newschecker verified the data released by the Periodic Labour Force Survey.
According to the PLFS data, Manipur saw an yearly average UER of 11.6 in 2017-18, which dropped to 9.6 in 2018-19, and was in the same range (9.7) in 2019-20. But it is important to note that these figures were still pretty high compared to the India average, which was 6.1 in 2017-18, 5.8 in 18-19 and 4.8 in 2019-20.
The LPR, meanwhile, has gone up from 36.3 in 2017-18 to 37.5 in 2019-20.
Crime Reduces Under BJP Government In Manipur
Looking at the NCRB data, we find that overall crime has dropped in Manipur in the last five years. While the state recorded 3,416 IPC cases in 2017, it fell to 2,349 in 2020, a 31% drop in four years, which is a major score for the N Biren Singh government.
The statistics of more serious crimes, such as murder and rapes also show improvement. While the state recorded 63 murders in 2017, it fell to 46 in 2020.
Similarly, while 40 rape cases where filed in Manipur in 2017, it fell to 32 in 2020.
Other data indicate a slight improvement in women’s safety in the state. While the number of sexual assault cases on women fell from 66 in 2017 to 56 in 2018, it rises again to 61 in 2020.
The number of domestic abuse cases fell from 19 in 2017 to 7 in 2020. Meanwhile, the number of dowry deaths have been practically nil, with the state reporting its first case of dowry death in four years in 2020.
Looking at the law enforcement infrastructure, Manipur has one of the highest police-population ratios (PPR) in the country owing to its low population density. But Newschecker found that the gap between the sanctioned PPR and actual figures is still wide. The state had a PPR of 962.7, as compared to the sanctioned figure of 1252.5 in 2017. In 2020, this gap is almost the same, with a PPR of 942.93, while the sanctioned PPR is 1123.57.
Similarly, the population per the number of police (PPP) is also high in Manipur compared to the rest of the country, but the gap between the sanctioned figures and the actual figures is wide. In 2017, the sanctioned PPP for Manipur was 79.84, whereas the actual figures were103.87. In 2020, the sanctioned PPP for Manipur was 89, whereas the actual figures were 106.5.
Manipur’s Spending On Health Drops
Healthcare related spending by the current government saw a cut back over the years, according to the RBI data. While Manipur spent 5.2% of its total expenditure on health in the year 2017-18, this went up in 2019-20 to 5.5% of the total expenditure by the state. But this figure has seen a steady decline since then, with the budgeted health expenditure for the state in 2021-22 falling to 4.2% of the total state budget.
Health infrastructure has shown slight improvement. The state had 85 PHCs in 2017, which went up to 93 in 2021. The total number of hospital beds available in the state also went up from 1,427 in 2017 to 1,786 in 2021. The shortfall of specialists such as surgeons, Ob-Gyn and paediatricians however has remained almost constant, with 65 in 2015 to 64 in 2020.
Looking at the health indicators in the state, Manipur shows a different trend. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Manipur went up from 21.7% in 2015-16 to 25% in 2019-21. The India average IMR meanwhile dropped from 40.7% to 35.2%.
Anaemia among women in the state increased from 26.4 in 2015-16 to 29.4 in 2019-21. Meanwhile, the national average dropped from 53.1% to 57%.
Severe wastage among kids under the age of five increased in both Manipur and all India level. The state saw 2.2% of wastage among kids in 2015-16, while it went up to 3.4% in 2019-21. The all-India average for the corresponding timeframe also saw a spike.
But stunting in children in the state went down from 28.9% in 2015-16 to 23.4% in 2019-21.
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