The State of Tamil Nadu is blessed with one of the longest and highly resource-rich coastlines in the country, giving it a distinct strategic edge. In addition to this, the State also has the ninth-largest area and sixth-largest population (as per the 2011 census) – this puts the state in the unique position of having a demographic as well geographical advantage to achieve its high growth potential and advance rapidly in areas of human and business development while playing a key role in the facilitation of international trade.
Chief Minister M K Stalin took oath in August 2018, and he being supported by an able team of dedicated officers, has been able to effect the State’s surge in growth and development – with people-centric initiatives to catalyse on ground growth.
The government’s resolute action and open announcement of its plans including a white paper presented in the State Assembly are concrete steps towards fixing its financial position and increasing GDP as its priority. Its inclusive approach to making financial decisions after due consultations with stakeholders is another ray of hope for the State to regain its leadership in the country’s growth table.
Several of Tamil Nadu’s far-reaching, well managed, public impact schemes did not participate in the SKOCH State of Governance Report 2021. We use this opportunity to call upon the State Leadership to actively bolster its participation in the next edition – SKOCH State of Governance Report 2022, which is currently underway, to calibrate the growth story of the State with that of the nation and facilitate a national-level benchmarking exercise with its other peers.
The Golden Two Years
The good news for Tamil Nadu is that it has already scored its earlier 5-year cumulative score from the year 2014 to 2019 within the first two years 2020-21. While the score in the SKOCH State of Governance reports from 2014-19 was 46.42, between 2020-21, the state has already surpassed it to score 57.8. A comfortable 10 point lead in just two years from what was achieved in the 5 preceding years, is the story of the great potential that Tamil Nadu has to consistently perform and outperform the other states in the ranking.
Good Governance Initiatives
Tamil Nadu has the distinction of having a vibrant body of experts organised to implement its digital initiatives and facilitate transparent and robust implementation of state services. The Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNEGA), has been pivotal in ensuring ease of doing business and transactions for industry and citizens at large respectively.
High Potential Areas
The SKOCH State of Governance Report has been an acclaimed annual review for the past several years and is sought after by policymakers and analysts alike to benchmark the growth areas of States in India. It analyzes how each State and UT has performed in a given year. The year-long transparent exercise is steered by a dedicated team of researchers and carried out by domain experts who study the performance of various states over a period of time; and includes comparisons with other states.
Various sectors of high potential growth for Tamil Nadu are agriculture, industry and commerce, human resource, public health, public infrastructure, eGovernance, social welfare, police and public security, environment and coastal development. Projects in these and a few other sectors in Tamil Nadu has the potential to decisively influence the state ranking by excelling in various indicators.
Fighting Corruption Resolutely
The state has one of the most robust eProcurement systems which enables tenderers to download the tender schedule free of cost, and subsequently submit bids online through this portal. This is a major step towards cutting down on time and corruption. The state, however, lags behind its peers in the SKOCH State of Governance Report owing to a lack of participation of its ambitious projects.
The SKOCH State of Governance Report is widely accepted as India’s most independent, detailed and data-backed assessment of administrative performance across the country. An independent study by our ground research team over the last year has concluded huge potential for the state of Tamil Nadu in more than one department. The confidence in the state’s surging growth trajectory is further emboldened by its splendid performance in the ‘Good Governance Index’ released by the Department of Administrative Reforms Grievances of the Government of India.
The yardsticks to be applied for Tamil Nadu for its developmental indicators and fiscal parameters are aspirational ones. The SKOCH Policy team with deep expertise in the area of governance believes that the progress of Tamil Nadu must be calibrated with reference to the full potential of the State.
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